It wasn't a great week for Alex Rodriguez. His five errors added to his MLB worst 18 this year (already 5 more than last season). His batting average dipped to .277. And trade rumors have started to take hold. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, and still don't. Thankfully, GM Brian Cashman has denied those trade rumors. But if a trade were to happen, it would wipe out any shred of respect that I might still have for the Yankees organization.
So what's keeping A-Rod in pinstripes? Last Friday, he became the youngest player (30) to reach 450 career homeruns and 2,000 hits. Lets also factor in both his career numbers and this season's totals (in parentheses): .305 (.280) BA, 451 (22) home runs, 2,004 (103) hits and 1,299 (73) RBI. Yeah, what a loser! Obviously he isn't worth holding onto. Sure, he owns Gold Gloves at both shortstop and third base, but he had five errors last week! He isn't worth another week like that, much less another $26 million season.
Is it just me or is the Yankees organization starting to seem more like a kid playing MLB 2006 on his Xbox with the infinite money code than an actual business?
What if New York could just move him to the designated hitter position? Oh, what am I thinking? Then Jason Giambi would be the odd man out, since he has become good for nothing other than stepping into the batter's box and swinging for the fences (29 HR this season). You know Giambi, right? The former Athletics first baseman turned Yankees DH on HGH, now just plain DH off HGH. God bless the American League. For the record, Rodriguez was 0-for-4 as a DH last week. So on second thought, let's talk trade.
Where would A-Rod fit in? A long ball hitter, Gold Glove winner, reigning AL MVP... I would say he'd fit in with any team that could afford him, and there the list gets very short. Say he checks out Boston (the Twins just couldn't pay his check and, as of late, don't need to). Some Red Sox fans are still a bit upset by the loss of Johnny Damon; maybe one good turn deserves a stab in the back?
What would a trade mean to the Yankees organization? After all, the long-running New York policy is, "If it's broke, trade it. If it ain't broke, trade it." Longevity isn't a hallmark of Steinbrenner's reign. If it was anyone else (except Yankee-for-life Derek Jeter) there probably would be little fuss. But after buying A-Rod's $252 million contract from Texas, I think the Yankees realize they should give A-Rod a little more time to prove that he is still the player that he was. Trade him because of five errors? Must have been a slow sports day at ESPN.
He could still have a 45 HR season in 2006. Isn't that worth a few errors? Cliché: Bleacher seats at Yankee Stadium: $12. A-Rod's contract: $252 million. A few errors in the midst of a Hall of Fame career: who gives a damn?