Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Where Will A-Rod Go?
Part One of the modern Ibsen drama, The Ballad of Alex Rodriguez, has played out to perfection, as he's opted out of his contract and is no longer a member of the Yankees, foregoing $81 million in the process, on the expectation that he'll get $300 million or so from his next deal, along with God-knows-what-else. Which brings us to Part Two---where the hell is he going to go?
Here at the GRBG, we do nothing but speculate and comment on where the hell players go, went, and are going in fantasy sports, so why not take it to the next logical step and examine it for real baseball. For kicks, let's examine in reverse order of likelihood each team having Mr. Rodriguez man the hot corner next year and some manish groupies following close behind. With aplomb...
No Shot in Hell
30. Kansas City. They've already got a pair of young 3B's in Teabag and Gordon, why add another one and double your payroll?
29. Minnesota. Carl Pohlad won't spend $20 million on the best pitcher in baseball, who's already on his team. There's a better chance they start playing their games in the Mall of America than this happening.
28. Pittsburgh. He is not a worthy heir to the throne of Jeff King.
27. Oakland. That would just compound Billy Beane's $10 million fuck-up known as Eric Chavez. Speaking of which, has there been a better mulligan than the one the A's got from Giambi turning down that $90 million deal before he went to the Yanks? Besides Juan Gone saying no thanks to Detroit's insane $140 million deal.
26. Milwaukee. Ryan Braun's a hideous fielder, but they're not breaking the bank here. Besides, why on earth would any superstar willingly go to Wisconsin?
25. Tampa Bay. Well, maybe you'd go to Wisconsin over the TropDome.
24. Texas. Tom Hicks just got a $30 million get out of jail free card, and he's more likely to waste it on Carlos Silva than invest it in a guy he already paid to get rid of.
23. Seattle. In terms of reunions, this would rank just below Bobby Bo's 1999 return to the Mets.
22. Toronto. JP Riccardi throws money away left and right at crap like B.J. Ryan and John McDonald, leaving him with nothing to spend here. Too bad, given that the Canadien rate would actually make this feasible.
21. St. Louis. Would be a nice idea, but how the hell are they going to fit him into the payroll?
20. Cleveland. Or them?
19. Cincinnati. Or them?
18. Florida. Some people are suggesting this is a real possibility. Really? They have no stadium, no fans, no pitching, no marketability and no intelligence running the ship. You would have to sell him the franchise for this to happen, and he's worth at least double the franchise's value.
17. Atlanta. There's enough payroll questions here that this would make no sense at all.
16. Arizona. Sorry, I can't see any reason why a team that's just rising to respectability and with a slew of fun young prospects all around would spend 1/2 their payroll on one player.
15. Colorado. The prospect of A-Rod hitting in Coors is neat, but c'mon.
Intriguing, but Unlikely
14. Chicago White Sox. They are set at 3B for a while with Crede and that kid who stinks and whose name I'm too lazy to look up, and Reinsdorf hasn't gone apeshit in the pocketbook for anyone since Albert Belle. Still, the notion of A-Rod and Ozzie Guillen together would define hilarity.
13. San Diego. They have a titanic hole on that side of the infield, and man they could use his bat. But if he's serious about 800 dingers, do you want to spend the rest of your career in that park?
12. Baltimore. Never count out Angelos to do something insane, like offer A-Rod $400 million, the Fort McHenry Tunnel, and dinner with Boog for life.
11. Boston. They'd have to commit themselves to not re-signing Manny after next year, which means you'd basically lose him for the whole year anyway, and their WS MVP was their third-baseman, who's universally loved by Beantown. Even if you let him walk, you could just move Youk over to the hot corner, and spend 60% of the money on T-Rex the following year. Plus Bill Simmons would keel over and die.
10. New York Yankees. Sorry, I think he's done there. They're still an outside shot in case they can work it out for the cheap, but that seems unlikely.
The Wild Cards
9. New York Mets. For A-Rod, this poses the same problems as the Yankees, minus the tradition and good will. It also makes zero sense, as the Mets are set on the left side of the infield until 2014, and won't pay the luxury tax, and should instead be saving up for the Santana Derby. Regardless, never count out Omar to do something we don't expect.
8. Houston. New GM needs a spark, some talent and a reason to live. This would qualify. Can see this team re-using the money that it just got back from Bagwell & Biggio on a new cornerstone 3B. Can't really see A-Rod returning to the state of Texas, let alone a bad team.
7. Washington. See, now this would make a ton of sense, as they're opening a new park, are embarking on new ownership, and he'd put a veritable face on the franchise. And let's face it, Washington should, once they get going, be a team with revenue in the top quartile of baseball. Still, this just seems too out of the blue to happen, as again, wouldn't he get killed for joining a team that's only 30 games out of first?
Contenders with Roster Flaws
6. Detroit. Had they not dealt for Renteria, I would move them up a lot. But they did, and while they're obviously gunning for the next year or two, this would be such a massive payroll jump (on top of Renteria), that I can't see it.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers. If Torre & Mattingly end up here, A-Rod doesn't. That simple. If they don't, then they're back in the mix for real.
4. Los Angeles Angels. Moreno can whine about payrolll till he's blue in the face. Hey buddy, nobody told you to overpay for Gary Matthews and his pharmacist by $45 million. Since Dallas McPherson is no more, and I think the next contract for Vlad will be too expensive anyway, why not make the investment here?
3. Chicago Cubs. Downgrade because of the ownership flux. If someone were in place, I have to think they'd sign him pronto.
2. Philadelphia. The infield would be A-Rod, Rollins, Utley, and Ryan Howard. Your outfield can have both Canseco brothers and Rusty Greer's corpse, and you'd be okay. It's a major market where they're a bunch of negative nuts as fans, but want a winner badly. He would probably crack 1000 homers in their park. And with Burrell set to expire next year, there's room to grow the payroll. This scares me, because it's too easy. As a Met fan, I'm praying that this, the logical answer for everyone, does NOT happen.
1. San Francisco. The math here is too simple: A-Rod would be a $4-$5 million increase from the big contracts they're losing, and it buys them time to re-build the surrounding team and farm system. It's a great baseball town and a real city, but the pressure wouldn't be ridiculous. And they could thrive through mediocrity for 10 years, and everyone would be happy. The real negative. Having to listen to Chris Russo complain about him and Tim Lincecum for the rest of the decade. Shoot me now.