Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dodgers need to steer clear of the A-Rod, Yankees' mess

I never thought I'd be writing about Alex Rodriguez on this blog. I never thought the media would ramp up such ridiculous rumors. OK, I lied about that last part.

The fact is, the Dodgers showed their financial strength this season with a flurry of acquisitions and ungodly amounts of money being added to the payroll. I guess it makes sense for the media to assume Los Angeles would be a landing place for Rodriguez.

But the Dodgers need to stay away.

I couldn't care less about Rodriguez's alleged tail-chasing escapade. All I care about is what he does on the field.

Rodriguez's production has declined dramatically in the last two seasons. He's hitting just .274/.357/.444 in that time. Those are actually solid numbers, but not by Rodriguez's standards -- and certainly not for the price tag.

Something else to consider is Rodriguez's health. He hasn't played more than 138 games since 2007, his age-31 season. He's going into his age-37 season averaging 124 games played per year since that time. With no designated hitter, the number could be less than that.

No good can come of A-Rod in Dodger Blue.

Before his performance-enhancing drug admission, I was a Rodriguez fan. I was always bitter because Seattle (smartly) chose him instead of Darren Dreifort in the 1993 MLB Draft. Rodriguez had allegedly told Seattle he wanted to play in Los Angeles, but Seattle didn't listen.

Thus, the Mariners got a future Hall of Famer and the Dodgers got a glass-armed flamethrower who couldn't stay healthy. Dreifort could hit, though.

Rodriguez is a shell of his former self. He has $114 million remaining on his 5-year contract -- and that's just his base salary. Here are the bonuses he earns if he gets to certain home run milestones (via Cot's):
"$30M marketing agreement based on home run milestones ($6M each for reaching 660, 714, 755 and tying and breaking major league HR record)"
Not that money is a huge factor for the Dodgers these days, but it has to play into the decision. The Yankees are going to have to pay a large portion of the deal, but I wouldn't want the Dodgers giving up anyone of consequence to get him (Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, etc.), no matter how much New York were to include.

I'm in no way saying a guy like Juan Uribe is better than Rodriguez and deserves one more chance at third base. Hell, I'm not even saying Luis Cruz is better than him. But the Dodgers should look elsewhere for third base help.

With first base locked up through 2018, Rodriguez couldn't even move there if (when) he became a liability at the hot corner. Acquiring Rodriguez would also block Corey Seager from having a shot at the position when he's ready. Granted, no one knows if Seager will actually ever make a major league appearance, but the Dodgers didn't draft him in the first round to let him sit behind an aging veteran.

I have no good answer for third base. I like Hanley Ramirez at shortstop. I like Chase Headley and, in hindsight, would gladly trade Zach Lee and others to get him, but that doesn't seem to likely now.

The Dodgers are going to have to get creative to fill the void at third base. As solid as Cruz was, he won't hold up over the 162-game season.

While I don't know who the Dodgers will tab to play third base, but I know it shouldn't be A-Rod.

Photo credit: dwhartwig, Flickr

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