— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) October 19, 2012
Every single year we hear about this. Player makes lots of money. Same player isn't worth what he's paid. Not even close. People say this player can't be traded. Every. Single. Year.
Yet every single year these players are traded. Carlos Zambrano was traded last year. The Red Sox traded a bunch of untradeables earlier this year. Milton Bradley was traded. Alfonso Soriano was on his way to the Giants before he declined to accept the trade.
The question isn't whether somebody is tradeable. It's how much money the team will have to send and what can they get in return. Alex Rodriguez is tradeable. It's absurd to suggest he isn't. Here's what A-Rod has done over the last four3 years.
- 2009: 3.9 rWAR, 4.4 fWAR, 5 WARP
- 2010: 3.9 rWAR, 3.8 fWAR, 4.9 WARP
- 2011: 3.7 rWAR, 4.2 fWAR, 2.8 WARP
- 2012: 2.0 rWAR, 2.2 fWAR, 1.2 WARP
Not surprisingly, he hasn't gotten worse over those years, but he's also probably better than he was in 2012 and even if he wasn't, that's still roughly league average production. There are a lot of teams who would like to add league average production at 3rd base.
Considering his wrist injury, the Yankees would probably have to throw in more money than they otherwise would have to, but they could still easily trade A-Rod.
Let's say A-Rod is only a 2.5 WAR player next year and gets worse by .5 per year. So that's 2.5, 2.0, 1.5, 1.0 and 0.5 WAR over the next 5 years. A-Rod will pass 660 home runs next year so he will get some or all of the marketing bonuses. I'm not sure how that's set up. It's hard to imagine he'd get $30 million just for hitting 660 home runs when he's still a long way from the record set by Barry Bonds. If I had to guess, this is what I'd estimate.
- 660: $5 million
- 700: $5 million
- 750: $5 million
- 762: $5 million
- 763: $10 million
Unless he's injured he'll hit 660 next year. There's a decent change he never gets to 700. At the most I'd say there's $10 million in marketing bonuses so let's go ahead and add that in for fun. He's owed roughly $124 million over these 5 years and that includes the bonuses.
$124 million over 5 years would buy you a player that would provide about 20 WAR. We have A-Rod projected to provide just 7.5. That's about $45 million in value, which means the Yankees would have to throw in the remainder of the $124 million ($79 million) and they'd get nothing in return. If they wanted a prospect they'd probably have to throw in a total of about $85 million leaving close to $40 million for the other team.
I don't know if these numbers are all that accurate, but you get the point. A-Rod is tradeable and it's silly to suggest otherwise.