Yankees, Marlins in Talks About Alex Rodriguez Trade?

According to a report from Keith Olbermann, the New York Yankees have had discussions with the Miami Marlins about a trade that would send third baseman Alex Rodriguez to the Miami Marlins.

 Sources close to both organizations confirm the Yankees would pay all – or virtually all – of the $114,000,000 Rodriguez is owed in a contract that runs through the rest of this season and the next five. One alternative scenario has also been discussed in which the Yankees would pay less of Rodriguez’s salary, but would obtain the  troubled Marlins’ reliever Heath Bell and pay what remains of the three-year, $27,000,000 deal Bell signed last winter.

It should be noted that Brian Cashman has refuted the report. But why wouldn’t he? With the Yankees staring a three games to none deficit in the face at the hands of the Detroit Tigers, this isn’t exactly the time to burning up the Hot Stove with trade rumors, especially when they involve the man who has signed the two richest contracts in baseball history and is currently the highest-paid reserve ever to don a uniform.

Rodriguez addressed the media beofre Game 4 was rained out. Image: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE

Rodriguez, who hails from Miami, is owed five years and at least $114 million on his contract and the perpetually frugal Fish wouldn’t dream of taking on much of any of that kind of salary, especially now that they’ve changed their minds about all that spending they did last Winter.

Rodriguez has full no-trade rights thanks to his 10-and-5 status, but considering the embarrassment levied his way this post-season, I can’t imagine he’d want to stick around. Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi has not only twice used a pinch-hitter for A-Rod with the game on the line in recent games, but he’s held him out of the lineup twice altogether. meanwhile, the Bombers continue to struggle at the plate and inch closer and closer to elimination.

The Yankees are known to be aiming to reduce payroll (at least that’s what they’re saying publicly), but paying upwards of $20 million per year for the next five years so that Rodriguez doesn’t play for them isn’t going to help that cause. The deal makes perfect sense for the Marlins, of course, who have been seeking Latin stars to help fill the stadium. Getting A-Rod for next to nothing is a pure win for the franchise. If they get out from under Bell’s terrible deal at the same time, all the better.

While Rodriguez has struggled this October, it’s not as if he’s been terrible this season. Far from it, in fact. The 37-year-old posted a .783 OPS this season while playing in just 122 games due to a broken hand. His power numbers have dipped as he has aged, but he’s still an above average hitter and one who still gets on base at a high rate.

The Yankees won’t acknowledge the trade rumors, of course, but there seems to be a good amount of smoke here. At least one of Olbermann’s sources thinks this deal eventually gets done. Considering the way A-Rod has been treated over the past week, I don’t think the Yankees have any choice in the matter but to move him.