Should Alex Rodriguez accept a trade?
Even though he was recently voted as one of the top players off all-time by Sports Illustrated, the Yankees should look to run him out of town in the first deal that comes their way. A square peg in a round hole.
Perhaps A-Rod is one of the best players in the game today. But he has never fit in with this group, even after winning the American League MVP award in 2005. The post-season is what counts in the Bronx. And that is where he has come up short time and time again.
Rodriguez switched positions when he waived his no-trade clause from his ridiculous contract with the Texas Rangers. Perhaps the only contract in sports more ridiculous is Rick DiPietro's endless deal with the New York Islanders. Derek Jeter is entrenched at shortstop, so Rodriguez slid over to third base, where he has not looked totally comfortable at.
The fans have rained the boos down on him on a regular basis. After his miserable 1-hit performance in the American League Division Series loss to the Detroit Tigers, he will undoubtedly hear more boos if he is still wearing pinstripes on opening day next season.
He has the power to veto any trade. But if Rodriguez takes his time off to give it a lot of thought, he may start to see the sense in being moved.
Would he be thought of as an Eric Whitson or Kenny Rogers, who couldn't handle the Big Apple? Not as much as you may think. His credentials alone should save him from some of that talk. He has been an amazing player since he came up with the Seattle Mariners. By staying in New York and failing the way he has, he is taking away from some of his greatness.
How bad would it be if he was dealt to a team that is a contender? The Los Angeles Angels may be a good fit. Their owner, Arte Moreno, has promised his fans that he would acquire a major player this off-season. They have a good team and would be even better with a bat such as Rodriguez' in the mix. He can move back to his natural position and have less pressure in California.
There have even been some whispers that the north side of the Windy City may be blowing towards A-Rod. The Cubs had a dreadful season and fired manager Dusty Baker following the season. They have interviewed former Florida Marlins skipper Joe Girardi, and the probable National League Manager of the Year seems to be the front-runner for the job. He did an incredible job keeping the young Marlins in the playoff race until the last week of the regular season. Disagreements with team owner Jeffrey Loria sealed his fate in the sunshine state. He can be a great addition to the Cubs, who may have a decent team if the major players who were injured most of the summer can come back.
First baseman Derek Lee and pitchers Kerry Wood and Mark Prior are all important pieces that can make a difference when healthy. Put Rodriguez in that line-up and they may have a decent club.
Either place is a great organization with a good fan base, and they are big market teams. He could get a fresh start in a new city, or come back to the Bronx and hope he gets off to a good start. He still will cash the same check, which seems to be his driving force.