If the New York Yankees are so keen on getting Alex Rodriguez out of town just to stop the constant media circus, the Miami Marlins should have no problem engaging Brian Cashman and the rest of the front office in serious trade talks.
Last week, as the Yankees were on the verge of being swept out of the American League Championship Series by the Detroit Tigers, Keith Olbermann reported that the team had discussions with the Marlins about Rodriguez.
Sources close to both organizations confirm the Yankees would pay all – or virtually all – of the $114,000,000 Rodriguez is owed in a contract that runs through the rest of this season and the next five...
None of the sources could give an indication as to how serious the discussions have already gotten, but one of them close to the Marlins’ ownership said he believed the trade made sense for both sides, and would eventually be made in some form.
After Olbermann's report came out, Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York reported that the original trade discussion between Yankees president Randy Levine and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was "a joke between old friends."
That's quite the hilarious joke.
But looking at the situation seriously, why wouldn't the Marlins at least look at adding Rodriguez if the Yankees are willing to pick up most, if not all, of the check?
Despite what people might have you believe, Rodriguez is not the worst player in the world, nor is he useless with a bat in his hands. In 122 games this season, the embattled third baseman hit .272/.353/.430 with 18 home runs and 13 stolen bases.
Defensively, Rodriguez hasn't been good for years, but he still plays a serviceable third base. He is good enough to handle himself. He is not exactly Miguel Cabrera-level bad with the glove.
So if you are the Marlins—a team that traded Hanley Ramirez last season and saw his replacements hit a grand total of eight home runs in 552 plate appearances—Rodriguez would represent a tremendous upgrade for them, while costing them virtually nothing in terms of prospects or money.
Rodriguez does have a full no-trade clause in his contract. He has said (via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com) that he has no plans to waive it.
“I’ve never thought about going to another team. My focus is on staying here. Let’s make that very, very clear." - A-Rod— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) October 19, 2012
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has said that he is not trading Rodriguez, though upper management could try to force his hand, even though they have no say because, as mentioned, Rodriguez can veto any potential deal.
And really, why would Rodriguez waive the no-trade clause? Even with all the media scrutiny breathing down his neck, he is still playing for a team that will compete for a postseason spot every year.
Plus, there is something to be said for actually having the media spotlight on you. As much as everyone rags on Rodriguez for his October failures, he could just love all the attention. He has always been a player who looks like he craves the spotlight, even if it is for poor play.
If you go to Miami, a city that doesn't even realize it has a baseball team, there is going to be no attention at all. Sure, there will be a little intrigue surrounding Rodriguez at the beginning, but eventually, it will fade away.
But what do the Marlins—whose offseason got off to a terrific start by getting rid of Heath Bell even though it did cost them a pretty penny to do so, according to Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald—really have to lose in this whole thing?
#marlins agree to pay $8 million of $21 million still owed to Heath Bell in order to complete deal— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) October 20, 2012
If they were somehow able to acquire Rodriguez, they would be upgrading a position of dire need without spending a lot of money to do it. And a change of scenery could serve Rodriguez well.
Even though I don't think it is going to happen because there is no reason to think Rodriguez would want to leave New York, it makes sense for the Marlins to at least engage the Yankees in talks.