The Yankees got their butts handed to them today by the Detroit Tigers. For the third game in a row Alex Rodriguez was absent from the starting lineup. By the time he entered the game as a pinch hitter for Raul Ibanez in the 6th, the game was all but over. 45 minutes or so later, he grounded out in the 9th inning in what may have been his last AB in (blue) pinstripes.
By now, most of you know the story. Benched in favor of a FHOF 4 years his senior, Rodriguez went 3-25 with 2 BB and 12 Ks in 25 post season AB's. Making it worse, the 37 year old will be paid $114,000,000 over the next 5 years on a grossly bad contract, NOT counting the $6mm he will get just for hitting 13 more home runs to pass Willie Mays, and another $6mm each for Ruth, Aaron and Bonds. Most of the pundits and experts expect the Yankees to shop him, expect them to eat a hefty portion of his salary, and feel it will take a bad contract for bad contract deal of the Yankees eating most if not all of his contract (combined with Alex waiving his No trade rights) to get a deal done.
And most of you also know that I've been vocal the past few days about how the Phillies should explore an A Rod for Ryan Howard swap. Sure, we could trade prospects for him and a boatload of cash, but at 37, he can't play third base forever, and Howard is signed through the same 2017 season. So without moving Howard, A Rod makes little sense for us.
If you think about it, their contracts are similar, (Howard makes $105 million guaranteed over the same period) Howard can DH for the Yanks, A Rod plays third base for a year or two until one of the young guys is ready then shifts over to first or you trade him again, and first base is a much easier position to fill in the short term (Ruf maybe?) Hell, maybe A Rod regains his form, has a renewed sense of vigor, and Utley can move to first. (see, I got this all figured out here...)
I mean, in my mind it was a virtual no brainer. A Rod and say, $30-40mm for Howard and a prospect, and our third base problem is temporarily solved. It made so much sense to me, that I couldn't believe I was the only one who thought of it. I mean, HE'S AROD!! 647 home runs!! Even 75% of AROD is better than Howard, right? and moreso, better than any other third base option out there,no? I mean, If the best free agent option is THIS GUY!!! we'd be better off with a Frandsen/Eric Chavez platoon, no? But A Rod??? Wow!
However, one of the things that sets TGP apart from most in my opinion, is our constant desire to back up the talk with saber-analysis and real thought. So I decided to put together a pro-con list on the trade idea, to show the world just how smart I was.
I didn't get too far.
Here's the FANGRAPHS comparison of A Rod and Howard. you can sort it by year, category however you like.
look at ISO, SLG, OBP, HR, etc...
It took me about 5 minutes to come up with the pros:
1. He plays third base
2. We get rid of Ryan Howard
3. He could go back to wearing number 3. 13 always looked weird on him to me.
That's all I could come up with. Feel free to add your own opinions.
Here are the CONS:
1. He's 37 years old and has not played 140 games since 2007. Aside from this year, Howard has played over 140 games every full season in the majors.
2. the last time he hit 30 home runs was 2010. Howard hit 14 in 71 games this year. A Rod hit 18 in 122.
3. A Rod, while known for his power, has been a huge OBP guy, hovering around 400 every year from 2000-2009. thats dropped to about .350 every year since.
4. ARODs SLG percentage and ISO averaged no lower than .500 and .236 from 1997 through 2010. they were ,461 and 185 in 2011 and 430 and 158 this season.
5. he put up 2.2 war, mostly based on being a 3B. correct me if I'm wrong, (Schmenk?) but at the same rate of decline over two years, or even a baseline a shift to 1B in 2015 would basically make him a negative WAR player, no?
6: should I go on?
What started as an exercise in thinking ARod for Howard made sense only made me realize that A Rod isn't A Rod anymore. He's THIS GUY!!
That's right. We'd be better off signing Kevin Youklis than trading for A-Rod, and so would anyone else desperate for a third baseman.
Here's the deal guys. This offseason, we're all gonna get desperate. We're all gonna let ourselves be fooled by the rumors, we're all gonna wanna find a way to fill that void at the hot corner. But we can't be stupid about it. Nor can we let the fact that the stupid Dodgers took on Crawford's contract to get A-Gon (now Howard for Crawford? THAT would have made sense!) or the fact that Ryan Howard's contract makes us wanna puke so much that we want him traded, blind ourselves to the logic we breathe here (Even if TP is on leave for a month).
We MUST NOT LOOK INTO THE LIGHT!!
Damn you Michael Young!
Damn you Chase Headley!
(Hey Friedman, My Zobrist offer still stands... Call me!)
I leave you with this.
I've always considered myself a smart fan. I thought this idea was smart as all hell. What I love about this blog is how its helped me become a smarter fan. My idea sucks. But at least I'm smart enough to admit it.