As Jonathan Leshanski wrote, the New York Yankees made Alex Rodriguez the scapegoat of their postseason problems. Yes, Rodriguez did virtually nothing this postseason, but he was not the only Yankee to struggle.
Things got so bad for Rodriguez that he was forced answer questions about a potential trade to the Miami Marlins when he should have been preparing for a playoff game.
Allegedly, talks between Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and Yankees president Randy Levine started as just joking banter. Some reports claimed that this was just a ruse, while others claim that a deal will gain traction this offseason and eventually be worked out.
Whatever talks took place, a trade between the Marlins and Yankees involving Rodriguez might make sense for both teams.
Though Rodriguez said that he’d like to avenge himself for the postseason by returning to the Bronx next season, deep down he might want out. He’s had postseason struggles in his career before, but nothing to the point this postseason in which basically every story was about his performance, either on the field or off it — including flipping a ball to two female fans asking for their phone numbers during Game 1 of the ALCS.
After the Yankees’ postseason collapse, they’re bound to make radical changes, since anything short of a World Series title sparks bedlam in the Bronx. It already appears that Nick Swisher won’t be back, and Rodriguez could be next out the door.
With five years and $114 million still left on his contract, the 37-year-old Rodriguez isn’t a very appealing candidate to return to New York. But then again, no team would be willing to take on this contract in full.
Enter the Marlins, who are coming off an extremely disappointing season after a total overhaul last offseason. Miami showed it wasn’t afraid to spend money and may need a player like Rodriguez, who spent a good portion of his childhood in Miami, to revamp the franchise.
Based solely on finances, here’s a trade that could work. Again, Rodriguez is owed $114 million over five years, and ironically, the Marlins have a player owed the same amount of money over six years: Jose Reyes.
Reyes has five years and $92 million left on the contract he signed last winter, but a $22 million option for 2018 brings the total amount to $114 million. In a trade, Reyes could take over at shortstop for the Yankees, pushing the aging Derek Jeter, who will be coming off ankle surgery, to third base. Rodriguez would play third in Miami, where the team has a major hole after including top prospect Matt Dominguez in a trade for Carlos Lee.
Hold on a second…Rodriguez for Reyes straight up? The Marlins would never agree to this sort of deal. Reyes is only 29 and was one of the few bright sports in Miami last season, while Rodriguez is way past his prime.
In a more likely deal, the Marlins would part ways with just handful prospects, since the whole point of the trade would be for the Yankees to pick up the bulk of the contract and leave the Marlins paying about $5 million annually to Rodriguez.
The Marlins are in a position that they know the Yankees want to get rid of Rodriguez, so why should they have to mortgage their entire future by giving up Reyes or Giancarlo Stanton when they’re in the driver’s seat?
Josh Johnson’s name would likely be discussed, since the Yankees will seeking starting pitching help, but with his contract set to expire after the 2013 season, the Marlins would be wise to trade Johnson mid-season for another team’s top prospects rather than use him in a deal to acquire a 37-year-old.
A potential Rodriguez trade to the Marlins is bound to gain some sort of traction this offseason, even if it is just a creation by the media. But there really may not be another team than the Marlins willing (or maybe crazy enough?) to make a deal.