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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Alex Rodriguez: major draw of the New York Yankees in 2015?

“There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”: P. T. Barnum, founder the Barnum & Bailey Circus,   No doubt, the late Yankee owner George Steinbrenner would agree.
By The Strobridge Litho. Co., Cincinnati & New York. (Library of Congress[1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
2015 Free Agent Predictions
by Dave Cameron - November 7, 2014  FANGRAPHS

Oakland A’s

They need a shortstop. They’re good at buying low on players coming off poor seasons. They’ve previously acquired Stephen Drew, and seem to like the skillset. Let’s call it a match, and give him 2/$16M...

New York Yankees

While I don’t have the Yankees signing any of the most expensive free agents, I do have them signing the most players in the group of 55 that you guys crowdsourced. I think they keep Chase Headley (4/$60M), David Robertson (3/$40M), Hiroki Kuroda (1/$12M), and Chris Capuano (1/$2M), plus add Asdrubal Cabrera (2/$22M) to replace The Captain. Cabrera wants to play shortstop, so he’ll go to the only city in the country that will see him as a defensive upgrade.

In 2014 the Yankees had these shortstops in order of fielding ability with their OPS+:
Brendan Ryan 18
Stephen Drew 39
Derek Jeter 76

For 2015 Dave Cameron, who knows a lot more about this stuff than I do, has Drew signing with Oakland and the Yankees signing Asdrubal Cabrera for 38% more than Drew gets, both on two year deals.  Drew is a really good fielder and Cabrera is not.  Ryan is already signed through 2015 for another $2 million and a $1 million player option for 2016; Ryan will be 33 March 26, 2015.

For public relations reasons in 2014 the Yankees played Jeter only at SS and had Ryan and Drew mostly at second base.

- Drew Born: March 16, 1983; career OPS+ 95, high 111 in 2013; WAR 15.9 (O 15, D 5.7)
- Cabrera Born: November 13, 1985; career OPS+ 105, high 121 in 2011; WAR 20.7 (O 22.8, D 2.4)

Cabrera's OPS+ has been 96 each of the last two seasons.  But if the Yankees sign Cabrera, at 29,  he will probably be the only Yankee every day player younger than 30.  I'm guessing that Martin Prado, who will be 31 in 2015, will wind up at second base.

At third base for the Yankees in 2015:
- Chase Headley Born: May 9, 1984; career OPS+ 113, high 145 in 2012 (OPS+ 119 with the Yankees in 58 games in 2014)
- Alex Rodriguez Born: July 27, 1975 Career OPS+ 143, high 176 in 2007, 111 in 2012

Rodriguez had only 181 plate appearances in 2013 due to off season hip surgery and was suspended all of 2014 for using performance enhancing drugs (PED).  Recently, secret grand jury testimony was leaked, which indicates that Rodriguez lied in his frequent denials about his use that led to his suspension despite his never having failed a drug test.  Rodriguez appears to be a pathological liar.

Cameron has the Yankees signing Headley for "4/$60M", which is $15 million for each of the next four seasons.  Rodriguez is already under contract for the next three seasons at $21, $20, $20 million.  So for the next three seasons the Yankees would be committed to $35 million at third base.

It should be remembered that Rodriguez has these career totals:
home runs: 654 (5)
Hits: 2,939 (32)
Runs: 1,919 (11)
RBI: 1,969 (6)

And as I've repeatedly emphasised it would be really stupid even for the Steinbrenner Kids to pay most of the salary of Rodriguez for another team to take him and have Rodriguez, with reasonable production in 2015, reach three major milestones with that other team rather than with the Yankees.

If the Yankees neither sign a big name free agent nor trade for one (Troy Tulowitzki) for 2015, then Alex Rodriguez would be the major draw of the New York Yankees.  Another P. T. Barnum quote:

“Nobody ever lost a dollar by underestimating the taste of the American public.”

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