Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ten Trades

Its time for the fun part. I am going to propose 10 potential trades for Alex Rodriguez, and then follow up by giving my opinion on them. They are in no particular order.

# 1To Anaheim: Alex Rodriguez, 8 million dollars
To Kansas City: Kenny Morales, Dallas McPherson,
To New York: Mark Teahen, Ervin Santana, Casey Kotchman, Jeff Mathis/Mike Napoli

Anaheim manages to get Alex Rodriguez while keeping Jered Weaver, Brandon Wood, and all of the rest of their high ceiling prospects. Kansas City removes a road block to Alex Gordon's soon to be brilliant career, and New York gets four good young players. Ervin Santana will immediately become the #3 starter behind Mussina and Wang. Jeff Mathis or Mike Napoli (probably Napoli) becomes Posada's backup and future replacement. Casey Kotchman splits time at 1b with Jason Giambi.

#2 To Anaheim: Alex Rodriguez, 8 million Dollars
To New York: John Lackey, Jeff Mathis/Mike Napoli, Casey Kotchman

The Yankees do not gain a 3rd baseman through this deal, but they do acquire an ace pitcher. John Lackey is one of the better young pitchers in the game. He would be under our control for the next three seasons. The Yankees attain a catcher for the future and a 1st baseman. Anaheim's pitching weakens, but they retain most of their young trading chips.

#3 To Anaheim: Alex Rodriguez
To New York: Bartolo Colon, Brandon Wood, Ervin Santana, Eric Aybar

Colon has 1 year at 14 million left on his contract. The 2005 Cy Young winner spent most of 2006 injured. He may not be ready to start the season. The Yankees take on this big question mark piece of salary in return for top prospect Brandon Wood (who could be moved to 3b), in addition to future utility man Aybar. Ervin Santana enters the rotation. Bartolo Colon starts the season on the DL and possibly returns to Cy Young form.

#4 The Chicago Cubs: Alex Rodriguez
To New York: Carlos Zambrano, Angel Guzman, Felix Pie, Eric Patterson.

I really don't know why the Cubs would do a trade like this, but they have been rumored to want Arod badly. Carlos Zambrano is a free agent after this year, and is coming off a 115 walk season. There is no way that the Yankees take him alone for Arod. Pie and Patterson would start the season at AAA, but could be quick promotions. Angel Guzman could be given a look in Spring Training. I am not a big fan of the Cubs as a trading partner.

#5 To Chicago White Sox: Alex Rodriguez
To New York: Mark Buerhle, Brandon McCarthy, Josh Fields

This trade has been rumored in Chicago to be offered by New York. Buerhle is coming off a season roughly equal to Randy Johnson's, and is a free agent in one year. McCarthy is a young solid starter, and Josh Fields has .290/.375/.520 and good defense all over him. I'd take it, although if I were Cashman I would try to extract David Riske.

#6 To Chicago White Sox: Alex Rodriguez
To New York: Joe Crede, Mark Buerhle, Brandon McCarthy

I don't have a lot of faith in Joe Crede. He posted just a .323 OBP this season, and derived virtually all of his value from his 30 home runs. Crede never hit more than 22 home runs before and never posted an OBP higher than .311. I don't trust it, or his bad back. I pass on any deal that includes Crede as more than a throw in.

# 7 To Philadelphia Phillies: Alex Rodriguez
To New York: Brett Myers, Gionvany Gonazalez

I can't see much of a deal to Philly, unless they had some real passion to part with their three top young pitchers by adding Cole Hamels to the deal. An alternate 3b would have to come from somewhere else.

#8 To Houston Astros: Alex Rodriguez, 8 million
To New York: Morgan Ensberg, Hunter Pence, Jason Hirsh

I really like this trade. The Astros use their new financial flexibility with the loss of Pettitte, Clemens, and the confirmed loss of Bagwell. Arod and Berkman form a nasty 1-2 punch which may finally succeed in unseating the Cardinals in the NL Central. The Yankees get an effective 3b in return, an excellent outfield prospect, and a huge power pitcher who dominated AAA. Too bad the Astros haven't expressed any interest in Alex yet.

#9 To the LA Dodgers: Alex Rodriguez
To New York: Wilson Betemit, Chad Billingsley, James Loney

The Dodgers are in dire need of home run power. They would convert LaRoche to 1st base, and sport the game's best offensive infield with Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Furcal, Jeff Kent and LaRoche. The Yankees recieve in return a replacement 3b, a major league tested future ace in Billingsley, and a left handed athletic 1st baseman to split time with Giambi in Loney.

#10 To the LA Dodgers: Alex Rodriguez
To New York: Andy LaRoche, Hong-Chih Kuo, Jon Broxton

In return for keeping their top young pitcher, the Dodgers give up Andy LaRoche instead of Wilson Betemit. Kuo, although not as talented as Billingsley, profiles a good #2/3 pitcher in the major leagues (his value is dimished due to injury), and Broxton is one of the best young relievers in the game.

I like a lot of these trades, although not all of them. If the Astros want Alex, they would make an excellent partner. I don't see trade to either Chicago team working very well. If the Dodgers want Alex (he strikes me as the Hollywood type), we deal could easily be worked out that benefits both sides. Although the best deal for the Yankees would include the Anaheim Angels and their crazy depth, I would be scared of empowering our enemy. If the offer big - I would take it. But I would make them pay through their teeth for a great player.

Alex Rodriguez is a first ballot hall of famer who will probably hit 140+ home runs for the team that he is dealt to over the next four years. He will probably knock in close to 500 runs, score 480 runs, and play decent defense at either third or short. That said, I still think that a trade could benefit the Yankees. The Yankees have a lot of pitching depth, but have even more offensive depth. We saw how much one of baseball's best lineups ever did for us.

In 2004 and 2005, fans and pundits incorrectly assumed that Alex was a poor clutch player. In 2006, the profesy was fulfilled. The pressure probably got to Alex. I feel sorry for him. He is not the robot that a prick like Manny Ramirez is. He can not shrug off his critics and stay relaxed like Derek Jeter. Unfortunately, New York fans would never accept him. He could very well rebound and have another 2005-like season next year. But Alex is 31 years old and may just have no more 45+ HR seasons left in him.

It is my opinion that Alex will put up one MVP season and three seasons similar to 2004/2006 over the next four years. For this reason, Alex should be traded. His value on the trade market is closer to the 2005 Arod than the 2004/2006 version. His defensive reputation is much stronger than teality. Alex has more value than he is worth in reality. If a great GM is like a shrewd stock trader, Alex has "sell" written all over him.

The Yankees have a chance to immediately interject significant young talent into their organizaiton with one single trade. We can set up members of the 2013 Yankees right now. But you cannot gain value without giving up value.