If A-Rod & Yankees Part Ways Will He Be Too Expensive to Unload? [POLL]
They still boo him in Seattle, and now it may start in New York.
Alex Rodriguez is one of the best players in baseball. Fifth in all time home runs and formerly one of the best shortstops in the game.
But with the collapse of the suddenly-looking-very-old Yankees in the American League Championship Series, is it now possible A-Rod could be leaving the Big Apple? Despite the huge numbers he put up in the regular season throughout his career, A-Rod has always been tagged a "choker" when it comes to the post-season. He finished the 2012 playoffs with a .120 batting average, going 3-25, and he has not hit a home run in his last 86 "at bats" in the post-season dating back before the 2010 season.
A-Rod posted some miraculous numbers after breaking in to the majors with Seattle in 1996. We won't bore you with the long list, but things began unraveling (some say) after abandoning Seattle while the Mariners were rebuilding. In 2000, he signed what was then the highest-paying contract with Texasin MLB history. Mariner fans dubbed him "Pay-Rod" and he's still booed at SafeCo Field to this day. That began to fuel the rumors that he is a selfish player who put his own needs ahead of his teams.
Despite some good post-season numbers early in his career, after signing with the Yankees in 2004 he gained a reputation as the guy who couldn't produce the "clutch hit" when needed. Unlike Mr. Yankee, The Captain, Derek Jeter, A-Rod could not live up to the expectations of Yankee fans. Except for a great 2009 playoffs, he largely failed in the post-season. In 2010-11 he hit .219 and .111 respectively before melting down this year. Between 2004 and 2008, he was 0-29 with runners on base in the post-season, leaving 38 men on base during the playoffs.
Why is he treated so differently than other players with monster talent and salaries? His demeanor earned him the nickname "A-Fraud" by many of his Yankee teammates, who resented his often outrageous and untimely salary and contract demands. He was also known as "The Cooler" because when he joined Texas they slumped and got better when he left.
We've seen his well-publicized infidelities that led to a divorce and him lie about taking steroids in 2007. Then in 2009 it was exposed he had taken performance-enhancing drugs in Texas.
After the sweep by Detroit (the first against the Yankees first since 1976), rumors exploded that the Yankees may eat his contract and trade him. But, he is simply owed too much money. Most experts believe he will be on the team for the start of the 2013 season. The Yankees are old, slow and need an infusion of fresh players, say most baseball experts. Unfortunately, A-Rod and the team will be stuck with each other next year, and possibly in 2014 -- a most uncomfortable marriage. His contract will be finally up in 2017, but he will be well into his 40s by then. Even if the Yankees absorb as much as $80 million, trading him would force other teams to pay at least $5 million a year for a fading player whose best years are behind him.
Do you think the Yankees should keep their money and him, or trade him? Take our poll: