A-Rod, looking for chicks. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Does A-Rod Make Sense For the Phillies?

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Right now, Alex Rodriguez is about as useless as hen poop on a pump handle.

The Yankees third baseman, who made $29 million this year, is 3-23 so far this postseason with 12 strikeouts in six games played. And those numbers don’t even accurately reflect just how bad A-Rod has been at the plate.

His ineptitude right now is only matched by his seemingly idiotic behavior, which has once again risen to the forefront thanks to a New York Post article on Tuesday, claiming A-Rod was hitting on a couple women during Game 1 of the ALCS against the Tigers.

Might want to think about the timing on that next time, bro.

Rodriguez, who was not in the starting lineup in Game 3 against Justin Verlander, and was not penciled into the lineup for Game 4 ahead of the Yankees’ match-up with Max Scherzer (which was postponed to Thursday due to rain), said he was not pleased about being benched with his team down 3-0 in the series.

“I’m obviously not doing somersaults,” Rodriguez said. “I’m not happy about it. Obviously, you come to the ballpark feeling that you can help the team win, and when you see your name is not in the lineup, you’re obviously disappointed. You’ve got to just shift to being a cheerleader and also make sure that you’re ready when your number is called.”

So, what you have in New York is an untenable situation, much like the Yanks’ situation with starter A.J. Burnett last year. It’s become clear Alex Rodriguez is persona non grata in that city, and that GM Brian Cashman will try to find a way out from under A-Rod’s unfathomable five years and $114 million left on his contract.

A contract that takes Rodriguez through his 41st birthday.

With the knowledge that the Yanks will certainly look to move A-Rod this offseason, and the Phillies with an obvious hole at third base, the question is obvious.

Would Alex Rodriguez to the Phillies make any sense for Philadelphia?

Even though the Phils do have a gaping hole at third base, filling it with an aging veteran that apparently can’t hit a major league fastball from a right-handed pitcher is probably not the wise course. It’s certainly out of the question if the Phillies would have to assume a major portion of his contract.

ESPN’s Buster Olney reported Wednesday that GMs he’s talked to around baseball all say that, if Rodriguez were a free agent and was about to hit the open market, the most he would get is probably a one-year, $5 million deal.

That means if Cashman wants to move him, he’s going to have to eat $80-100 million of A-Rod’s contract.

Yikes.

However, if Cashman were to eat most of Rodiguez’ contract, might he still be worth the risk? Probably not, for two reasons.

The first is that it’s not just the amount of money that A-Rod is owed, it’s the number of years the team would be financially committed to paying him. Even if the Phils were only the hook for $5 million a year, they would still likely have to pay him that five million dollars each year for the next five years.

So, if the Phillies wanted to drop A-Rod after 2013 or 2014, they’d still be sinking $5 million into a player no longer on the team for another two to three years after that. And even for a team with deep pockets, $5 million for an empty roster space is a sunken cost thePhils obviously shouldn’t assume.

The second reason depends on how you answer this question. Is A-Rod simply in the midst of a horrible slump, or is this the beginning of a steep decline?

There’s no doubt that Rodriguez is not the player he used to be. No 37-year-old player is. But is he as bad as he has looked in the playoffs?

Against right-handers, A-Rod has been a poor hitter all year. He batted .308 (45-for-146) with eight homers, 24 RBIs and a .924 OPS against lefties during the regular season, while hitting .256 (81-for-317) with 10 homers, 33 RBIs and a .717 OPS against righties. His career OPS against righties (.945) and lefties (.944) are nearly equal (stats courtesy of MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch).

So, while it’s not as bad as Ryan Howard against lefties, it’s clear Rodriguez is having more trouble against right-handed hitters at this stage of his career.

His skills are deteriorating, and his days as an everyday third baseman are nearly over.

The only way the Phillies should consider entertaining an offer for Rodriguez is if they only plan to use him as one-half of a platoon, and if Cashman guarantees the Yankees will cover any monetary commitment owed to A-Rod should the Phils decide to drop him from the roster, enabling the Phils to completely clear him from their books should they decide to release him.

That’s not likely.

Allow the Miami Marlins to make the mistake of signing an aging, veteran third baseman whose skills appear to be in rapid decline. A trade there seems inevitable.

Anyone who trades for Rodriguez this offseason is simply trading for a name, and gets what they deserve.

But someone will trade for him. It’s going to happen.

We can only hope Ruben will stay away, unless the Yankees are literally giving him away.

After all, the Phils have their own power hitter-in-waiting currently tearing up the Venezuelan League.

 

What, you were expecting Cody Asche?

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Tags: Alex Rodriguez New York Yankees Philadelphia Phillies

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