Alex Rodriguez in happier times. - Jim McIsaac
White Sox fit the bill for the aging third baseman
The Detroit Tigers just completed a sweep of the New York Yankees. In the last two of those games, Alex Rodriguez, baseball's highest paid player, didn't get off the bench until the game was out of hand in Game Four. Not because of injury but because manager Joe Girardi determined he wasn't good enough.
Setting aside the soundness of that thought process, what it does seem to make crystal clear is that the Yankees will be making every effort to get rid of Rodriguez in the offseason. With $114 million and five years left on his monster contract, not to mention a full no trade clause, the 37 year old will be difficult to move. It's been posited that the Yankees would need to eat something like $100 million to move him.
That may be a bit hyperbolic. But whatever the number, it's one that only the Yankees could even consider.
A further complication is that Rodriguez apparently says he only wants to go to a "big market" club, seriously constricting the options for the Yankees. On top of all of that, Rodriguez played just 81 games in the field last season, after just 89 games in 2011. That means you're probably looking at a guy who needs to be in the American League.
And, even if a team can use him at DH, he's had significant injury issues the past four seasons playing in the AL for the Yankees.
For all the crap Rodriguez has been getting, he's still a useful, above average player. He certainly isn't the Rodriguez who had one of the lengthiest and most productive peaks in history. But it isn't unreasonable to expect a 3-4 WAR player with an .850 OPS for the next few seasons. And I don't need to remind White Sox fans about the piss poor production they got from third base in 2012, even taking into account Kevin Youkilis' mediocre half season.
This is the point where I'd normally bring up Kenny Williams is always looking to land a name player. And that he usually gets his man at or beyond the player's sell-by date. But, with the rumors about Williams being kicked upstairs and replaced by Rick Hahn as general manager, that may not be as applicable as it once was.
Still, Hahn is no dummy. And, at the right price, the logic is obvious. And maybe Herm Schneider can work some of his magic on Rodriguez and keep him healthy. Of course, there's a host of hurdles to overcome to get a deal done, many of which I haven't covered - like whether the White Sox can (or should) outbid the Angels or where Rodriguez puts the White Sox on his list of destinations. But I expect the Rodriguez circus to be a continuing act through at least the Winter Meetings and for the White Sox to be a part of the show.