Yesterday a rumor made the rounds about a potential Alex Rodriguez trade between the New York Yankees and the Miami Marlins, one which would involve the Yankees eating nearly every penny of the 3rd baseman’s exorbitant contract. Keith Olbermann was the one who “broke” (or made up, in my opinion) the news on his MLB blog, saying that Marlins’ owner Jeffrey Loria and Yankees executive Randy Levine had some very, very preliminary discussions centered around the embattled 3rd baseman. Let me say this as clearly as I can: These rumors are not true. Olbermann is making shit up. That Yankees, as much as they would love to get out from underneath A-Rod’s crushingly bad contract, are stuck with him, and Rodriguez is stuck with them. And if Olbermann was paying any attention and not just making shit up, he’d know this, and there is a couple of BIG reasons why.
1. The Yankees still owe Rodriguez the GNP of a very small country
All kidding aside, there is still $114 million dollars remaining on Rodriguez’s current deal, which runs out after the 2017 season, when the 3rd baseman is 41. That is an enormous financial commitment for a player who has been in steady decline for the past 5 seasons. In 2007, Alex Rodriguez won the AL MVP award, posted the best OPS+ (172) in the American League, and was generally considered one of the two or three most dominant players in baseball. A-R0d’s OPS+ has dropped in every year since, falling to a career-low 112 this year, and he has played more than 130 games just twice, never topping the 138 game mark.
That’s a precipitous decline for a player with this amount of dough remaining on his deal, but that doesn’t mean Rodriguez is a terrible player. His 112 OPS+ still ranks 12 points above the league average, and his defense at 3rd has actually been solid. If he had a $7 million-$10 million dollar salary next to his name we’d be talking about how he had been a solid starter on a playoff team, and how he’s a player worth keeping around. But he doesn’t make that kind of money, he makes upwards of $30 million a year, and that’s an issue. One that you can’t just wish away, as much as GM Brian Cashman may want to.
If Olbermann thinks that Cashman is just going to let a productive (at least during the regular season) player walk out the door while also eating a $100+ million dollars, he’s crazy. Giving away a player owed this amount of money is unprecedented and is just not going to happen. And Cashman has said as much when asked about the rumors stating:
“I have had no discussions whatsoever with the (Miami) Marlins,” Cashman said. “Certainly would never have any trade discussions under the circumstances. I certainly have not had any discussions with any GMs other than the pregame meetings with Dan Duquette with the Orioles, with the umpires and then with Dave Dombrowski (of the Tigers). But I’ve had no trade discussions, so false. One hundred percent false.”
2. Olbermann loves a vendetta, and he has a good one here
Olbermann has long been known as a blowhard and a TV personality who is willing to stretch the truth for ratings. His Countdown shown on MSNBC borders on the absurd and frequently makes fun of people that Olbermann has a vendetta against. His poorly aimed “Worst Person in the World” segment is just one example out of thousands. So when the Yankees decided to pull the strings on Keith’s chance to be the PA assistant on Old Timer’s Day this year, you can imagine that he wasn’t too happy. A couple months pass, people forget, and voila, right in the middle of the playoffs Olbermann decides to dump a massive load. The Yankees don’t want A-Rod, the Marlins are notorious for doing stupid things. Bingo. Sounds like a trade. Don’t just listen to me. Here’s what Keith had to write about it:
Yankees’ Senior Vice President Brian Cashman has denied to MLB.Com’s Yankees’ beat reporter Bryan Hoch that there have been any A-Rod trade talks with the Marlins.
Cash – whom I like – is, say, incorrect.
I’d also like to point out that the last time Brian Cashman denied something involving me, it was to tell me and a crowd of reporters that my tweetshowing Rodriguez receiving post-pitch detail signals from the stands on Opening Day in 2011 was not an issue for the ballclub and the team was just fine with me and had no problem and everything was just fine.
Three months later they threw me out as Bob Wolff’s assistant at the P.A. microphone for Old Timers’ Day and leaked it to The New York Post.
Seriously? Could anyone try to sound more vindictive? I think not.
And if that’s not enough for you, here’s another point to find interesting. Variety Magazine, a publication that covers movies, television, and music, is the only credible source to back this story, yet there is absolutely, positively nothing on their website concerning Rodriguez and the Marlins. Go ahead, here’s the link, look for yourself. The last time he was mentioned by anyone at Variety was back in 2010 concerning his guest spot in the movie “Friends with Benefits.” The sheer fact that I had to type that sentence is making me angry, and rumors like the one Olbermann is spreading do nothing to help the credibility of fellow MLB.com bloggers, like myself, which only serves to piss me off more. As great as an Alex Rodriguez trade would be, it’s just not in the cards. There’s just too much money remaining on his gargantuan contract to think that the Yankees, one of the most fiscally savvy teams in baseball if you look at team success and profit margin, light $100 million dollars or more on fire. Olbermann should be ashamed of himself for this kind of blatant trolling. Maybe next time he decides to name someone the “Worst Person in the World” he should look in a mirror.