Yankees GM Brian Cashman has said that he won’t shop Alex Rodriguez this offseason, but that he would be fielding phone calls from teams that might be interested in trading for the fading slugger. However, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, nobody has called the Yankees to ask about A-Rod yet.
A-Rod will turn 38 in the middle of the next season, but he is still an above average offensive player. He had a 114 wRC+ and a .342 wOBA in 2012 which finished 8th among all major league third baseman who qualified for the batting title. Defensively he has lost a step, but is still not a terrible negative-3.9. So he is still valuable. The question is — how valuable?
A-Rod is owed $114 million over the next five years plus another $4 million in unpaid signing bonuses and another possible $30 million in historic bonus clauses ($6 million for each home run Nos. 660, 714, 755, 762, and 763). It’s hard to say how many homers A-Rod will finish with, but it seems safe to assume that he’s now at 647 so he’ll at least achieve two of those bonuses, meaning he’s still owed at least $130 million over five years or $26 million a year. That’s 22 teams that could upgrade their third baseman, but how many willing to pay $130 million to do so?
So it’s not a surprise to hear that nobody has called about him yet. Cashman may not be making phone calls to shop A-Rod, but it’s not like teams are going to be jumping to take on a soon to be 38-year-old. To make a any deal happen the Yankees are going to have to get aggressive, creative. They are going to have to eat a large chunk of that $130 million, or more.
The thing is — teams know that. Cashman doesn’t have to call anybody. If there was a team out there that actually wanted A-Rod, they would make the call, they would certainly ask Cashman to swallow a good chunk of that money. And, he probably would be willing to too. Just nobody has called yet.