Monday, December 22, 2014
Posted by el duque at 7:40 AM
The Evils are secretly negotiating with Alex Rodgriguez, seeking a "good riddance" lump sum pay-off that will send him off to Brigadoon, or Narnia, or Skaneateles Lake (future pad of Jete), once and for all. He'll walk away from $61 million clams, plus incentives, over the next three years. He'll accept less money, volunteer for the Mars expedition, and never again soil the Yankees' spotless legacy of morality.
Most recently, David Lariviere, a contributor to Forbes Magazine - (a big name in insider baseball) - proclaimed that "it's clear that the New York Yankees are preparing for the early jettisoning" of A-Rod, and that Number 13 will be gone by Memorial Day. Others claim A-Rod will never even swing a bat for the Yankees. In interviews, Brian Cashman repeatedly exudes the sense that the Yankees should expect little or nothing from A-Rod, due to his age, his injuries and his year of going cold-turkey on Captain America's Super Soldier Serum.
Listen: Nobody knows if A-Rod will hit. Not even A-Rod. We will find out next spring.
But claims that Hal 5000 will buy him out hold no water. Here's why.
1. They have no other DH. Look at the roster. Who else bats cleanup and plays DH? Carlos Beltran? Last year, Carlos hit .233. If he moves to DH, that leaves right field to - gulp - Chris Young. Excuse me while I puke. Last year Chris played well for us in 23 games - twenty three games. No... actually, he played well for us in three games: He homered three consecutive nights, then reverted to a pumpkin. Last year, for the Mets, he hit .205. Two oh five. What are we saying here, that the Yankees expect Young to benefit from their great hitting coach, Kevin Long? If Beltran becomes DH, Young is our starting RF. And if anybody actually thinks Garrett Jones - whom we got in the Prado/Phelps deal - is a legitimate DH - dear God, shoot me. Jones, a card-carrying member of the 116 whiff club, has been down-sliding for three years. We might as well re-sign Ichiro.
2. Will someone explain to me again why A-Rod - a notoriously egomaniac - would settle for less than the entire king's ransom that the Yankees are obligated to pay, and why he would just walk away from a chance to save the final act of his career? It makes no sense. The team owes him $61 million. Why does take a penny less? Of course, if he cannot hit a lick - like Chris Young last year on the Mets - something will have to give. If he's injured, the Yankees might be able to write him off with insurance. I don't know the mechanics of this. But any "secret deal" gossip sounds like a boatload of Lyle Overbays.
3. There are no other free agent DH's out there worth signing. These days, professional hitters are a commodity. We never jumped on Victor Martinez or any of the others. Without A-Rod, the Yankees could end up with a DH batting seventh or eighth. Hell, we might as well go with Sabathia. (I am serious about this: If CC cannot pitch, maybe he should hit.)
4. If you think about it, Brian Cashman - by low-balling expectations, is actually doing A-Rod an enormous favor. The team is creating a sense that anything A-Rod does will be topping on the sundae. The worst thing they could do would be to get fans expecting 40 HRs. Then, if A-Rod hit 25, he'd look bad. (BTW, 25 HRs would be more than what they got from their big hitters last year.)
5. The mystery factor. Right now, we the Bronx Boredoms. Chase Headley is returning? Wow. Spare me the champagne. Chris Capuano coming back? Wow. Pour me a glass of Draino. But A-Rod... hm-mm - who knows what he will do? Frankly, it's one of the few intriguing story lines for 2015. Without him, we're supposed to be charged up over Garrett Jones?
If only all Evil was so mediocre...