Once upon a time, Alex Rodriguez was the greatest baseball player on the planet. PEDs aside, the guy could field, hit for average, hit for power, run the bases, and so on. He did it all, which is why it was no surprise when he signed a ten-year, $275 million contract with the New York Yankees following the 2007 season. But after four years of that deal, the third baseman might very well be on his way out of New York, thanks to lackluster (by his standards) performance in regular season, following by a ghastly (.305 OPS) showing in the postseason.
And now that the Yankees have been eliminated from the postseason, rumors are swirling about how the Yankees are looking to trade him. Personally, I think it's bunk, given that he has a no-trade clause and that he is owed $114 million over the next five years. Also, he's still somewhat valuable. He isn't the .300/.400/.500 guy that he was a few years ago, but he's till pretty good when he is healthy.
That said, let's talk about the chances of the Phillies throwing their hat into the Alex Rodriguez ring. It makes some sense, after all: The Phillies need a third baseman, they need power from the right side, and they could potentially take on whatever money that the Yankees wouldn't eat in a deal.
And as I mentioned yesterday, Ruben Amaro likes to make the big deal, even when it's not the best deal. He's never shied away from pulling a trigger on a trade (unfortunately), and acquiring A-Rod would give the Phillies the greatest infield in baseball...in 2007.
But, in order for this trade to even be considered, a few conditions need to be met: 1. The Yankees need to eat somewhere in the neighborhood of $80 million of the $114 million that he is owed in order for the next five seasons, unless the Phillies plan on dumping some salary elsewhere. 2. The Yankees won't mind getting back a bag of baseballs or the key to the batting cages in return, and 3. A-Rod would be willing to waive his trade clause to come to Philadelphia. Too easy, right?
So, it's not likely to happen. At all. But despite his reputation as a less-than-clutch hitter when October rolls around (something that's not really true, at all), would A-Rod even be worth considering in a trade? Why would the Phillies even want a 36-year-old who is on the back nine of his career?
Well, because he might just be their best option right now. The Phillies have plenty of question marks heading into 2013, but the biggest one just might be at third base, where their best in house option just might be Kevin Frandsen or Freddy Galvis. In light of that, Rodriguez's .819 OPS with an average of 21 homers per season over the last three is looking pretty appealing. Sure, his defense is fading and he might be useless in the field before the contract is up, but easy come, easy go, right?
Is it the most ideal scenario? No, and like I said, there are way too many moving pieces for this to even be a viable option (at least, for now), but before you go dismissing the notion entirely, consider that, yes, Alex Rodriguez could absolutely help the Phillies. A lot.