With the benching of Alex Rodriguez in Game 3 of the ALCS and his planned benching in Game 4 prior to it being pushed back because of rain, rumors have begun to swirl that the New York Yankees could look to move the 37-year-old third baseman this offseason.
That comes with obvious complications, the biggest of which is undoubtedly the $114 million he is due over the next five seasons, which is accompanied by another $30 million in home-run milestone bonuses.
He also has a full no-trade clause, and by all reports, he still loves New York and the Yankees (h/t Danny Knobler), so at the end of the day, he could put the kibosh on any potential move that the Yankees could put together.
One team that has already come forward in trade rumors is the Miami Marlins, and while the rumors appear to have stemmed from a nonchalant conversation Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and Yankees president Randy Levine had this past spring, there doesn't seem to be anything legitimate between the two sides as of now (h/t Jon Heyman).
Still, the two sides represent an interesting pairing, and there are a number of reasons to think that they could undergo some legitimate talks this coming winter.
The Marlins spent big last offseason, but when things went south early, they became aggressive sellers at the deadline. Among the pieces they moved was converted third baseman Hanley Ramirez, and as a result they now have a hole at third base.
The Yankees would undoubtedly need to eat a good deal of the money still due to Rodriguez, and the Marlins could use this trade as an opportunity to cut ties with flop signing Heath Bell and the $18 million he is due over the next two years.
If the Yankees were to take on money to the point that A-Rod costs them roughly $5 million per season (essentially his open-market value at this point) and they take on Bell, there is a legitimate chance of a deal getting done between the two sides.
While the move may appear to make sense for both sides on paper, there are outside factors that need to be taken into account on the Marlins' side of things. Those, of course, start and end with outspoken manager Ozzie Guillen.
Guillen is as outspoken as they come, and despite not setting foot on the field, he is without question the face of the Marlins franchise.
Rodriguez is a big celebrity, and he spends plenty of time in the headlines, but from a personality standpoint, he is a relatively laid-back guy. For all his flaws, Guillen is still a player's manager, and though the pair seems like a recipe for disaster, I think they could actually coexist and thrive in the same locker room.
Both are fierce competitors committed to winning, and a change of scenery and return to his hometown of Miami could be precisely the jump-start Rodriguez's career needs.
Guillen will likely need to turn things around this season to save his job in Miami, and after the embarrassment Rodriguez has suffered in the postseason this year, he'll be as motivated as ever to turn in a good season. The duo could rally together around their shared sense of urgency in 2013 and be exactly what the Marlins need to turn things around.
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