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With New York Yankees Turmoil, Should Atlanta Braves Attempt to Land Alex Rodriguez?

October 22nd, 2012 at 4:10 PM
By Cody Fields

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman recently said that trading aging third baseman Alex Rodriguez is "unrealistic," but assuming A-Rod could be convinced to waive his no-trade clause, could he end up with the Atlanta Braves?

'Alex Rodriguez' photo (c) 2009, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Cashman told Sunday Morning with Ian O'Connor on ESPNNewYork 98.7 FM that that he fully expected Rodriguez to don the iconic pinstripes in 2013. He also went a step further, hinting that he would be open to trade talks regarding one of the most expensive talents in the Major Leagues.

"It's not like I'm going to hang phones up on anybody who wants to make any overtures about anything," Cashman said, foxsports.com reports.

Cashman continued, even citing his belief that A-Rod is no longer the superstar he used to be.

 

"He's still an above-average third baseman. … That means despite the contract that we had committed to him, that he's an asset at this stage still. I don't see us doing anything there. I don't anticipate it. If someone wants to make phone calls, we're more than willing to do all that stuff with any of our players, and that's fine. You can run into something that way.

"But listen, the sooner we put to bed any expectation or anticipation that the Yankees are going to be solely focused on trying to move Alex Rodriguez. … I think that would be false. And it would be just a lot of wasted energy on anybody's part to be thinking."

All the speculation comes after the Yankees seemed to slump as an entire offense during the playoffs. Rodriguez went 3-for-25 and eventually found himself benched during the American League Championship Series. Rodriguez also has five years and $114 million left on his contract.
 
Tack on the fact that owner Hal Steinbrenner wants to trim payroll to $189 million by 2014, and it makes sense to move Rodriguez.

 

The New York Daily News recently listed the Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers are more likely place for Rodriguez to land, but it may also make sense for Braves general manager Frank Wren to make a run at Rodriguez. The Braves do, after all, need to fill a Chipper Jones-sized gap at third base in 2013.

Rodriguez is obviously long past 40-50 homers in a season, but he is still productive when healthy. True, he only hit 18 homers with 57 RBIs last season, but one must also keep in mind that he missed the entire month of August after having his hand broken when he was hit by a pitch on July 24. Up to that point, Rodriguez had pelted 15 homers through 94 games. That's 25 over a full 162 games.

Even after missing a month with an injury that prevented him from swinging a bat for most of his recovery time, Rodriguez came back and, though he still wasn't himself, managed to hit three more homers in September. This is not something to ignore.

These days, Rodriguez can definitely be figured to hit somewhere in the .270-.280 range. It's obviously whether he can stay off the disabled list that will determine if he puts up 2010 numbers, the last time he hit 30 home runs.

The biggest issue for Atlanta obviously be the money, and Wren is on the record as saying he would rather spend money one two solid players as opposed to one huge contract. The $28 million A-Rod is owed next year is astronomical, but the amount he is paid decreases every year until it hits $20 million in 2016 and 2017. A deal for Rodriguez would also figure to include the Yankees taking on a healthy chunk of his salary.

All that has gone without noting the milestones Rodriguez is chasing. He is only 99 hits away from 3,000 and would be the first Brave since Hank Aaron to record that feat. Speaking of Aaron, Rodriguez is sitting at 647 homers and should be considered within striking distance of the true home run mark of 755.

This is all just conjecture and probably a pipe dream at the moment, but it very well may make sense for the Braves and should be explored.

Tags: Alex Rodriguez, Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, MLB, New York Yankees

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