February 15, 2004
A-Rod to Yankees?

Boy, talk about a disturbance in the Force:

In an offseason when a flurry of high-profile players switched teams, the Yankees early today were on the verge of making the biggest splash of all.

Barring a last-minute snag, industry sources said the Yankees would acquire [Alex] Rodriguez, the 2003 American League Most Valuable Player, for second baseman Alfonso Soriano and another player.

The trade comes just weeks after a proposed deal that would have sent Rodriguez to the Boston Red Sox fell apart and at a time when he'd seemingly resigned himself to another losing season in Arlington.

Wow. I can't wait to witness the wailing and rending of garments that will occur in Red Sox Nation if this one goes through. I'm still boggled by the idea that the Yankees would move A-Rod, one of the best defensive shortstops in the game, over to third base so Derek Jeter can stay in place. And after all that they may still end up with Enrique Wilson in the lineup. Maybe if I think of them as a National League team, with the pitcher batting ninth, it'll seem more logical.

Just as a reminder to everyone, trading A-Rod, even for a good young player like Alfonso Soriano, will not help make the Rangers more competitive. This is because A-Rod's salary was not what was preventing them from being competitive in the first place. The Rangers' problem was mostly that they spent a ton of money on players who weren't worth it, and they have consistently failed to grasp this. If their problem was A-Rod's salary, they'd take the money they'll be saving (about $10 million after you factor in Soriano's salary and the portion of his deal that they'll cover for the Yankees) and use it to upgrade other positions on the team. Since they won't be doing that - and you can carve that in stone - this is nothing but a salary dump.

Tom Hicks is quickly cementing a reputation as the dumbest owner in Major League Baseball, and this would finalize it. Back in the early 80s, the NBA passed a rule which required league approval if the Cleveland Cavaliers wanted to trade a first round draft pick, thanks to the amazingly inept bungling of then-owner Ted Slepien, whose finest moment turned James Worthy into Butch Lee and Chad Kinch. Maybe it's time MLB considered a similar intervention in Arlington.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 15, 2004 to Baseball | TrackBack

Not too many years ago, a proven veteran shortstop was facing a challenge from the face of the future. Through the winter, the manager explained that the starting job still belonged to the veteran. I think it was the second day of spring training that the farce was dropped, and John Valentin was moved out of Nomar's way.

So I'm not holding my breath waiting for the Yanks to move the wrong guy.

Has ARod already cemented his place as second best shortstop? He's got enough time left to make a good run at Mike Schmidt.

Will ARod now be recognized as being valuble? Or will Jeter get the credit for "teaching him how to be a champion"?

The Yankees get the best mortal in this baseball generation, when they are already loaded for bear. I can live with that. A player that the Redsox had a shot at, but didn't land for themselves. I can live with that. And they plan to move him in favor of an inferior player. I can definitely live with that.

But sending money TO the Yankees? Isn't that unconstitutional?

Five days 'til pitchers and catchers report.

Posted by: Danil on February 15, 2004 11:58 AM