Should the Royals Acquire Alex Rodriguez?
By Ed Connealy
Mandatory Credit: Andrew Mills/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
Alex Rodriguez is not only suing Major League Baseball, but also the Major League Baseball Players Association. Yes, he is taking his own union to federal court in order to overturn his 162 game suspension. He feels his union turned it’s back on him. A-Rod also has every intention of reporting to Spring Training, even though the Yankees are pleading him not to. He’s also seeking an injunction that would let him play baseball while he waits for his day in court. Calling A-Rod selfish, or a team cancer seems generous. Alex Rodriguez has done the unthinkable. He’s become more unlikable than Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens combined.
That’s why this question may sound strange. Under the right circumstances, should the Royals consider trading for and signing Alex Rodriguez this year?
Allow me to stress “under the right circumstances”. There are two conditions that would have to exist. First, A-Rod is given a clean bill of health. Second, Mike Moustakas repeats his disastrous 2013 performance in 2014’s first half. With that as a back drop, consider the following before saying no.
A-Rod’s suspension is cut in half, making him available for the season’s second half. The Royals are 2 games back of the AL Central at the All-Star break.
The Yankees are willing to pick up the majority of A-Rod’s salary to be rid of him.
A-Rod is willing to sign a season and a half deal, in order to prove he still has “it”.
These scenarios are quite possible. Even before his latest legal aggression, his suspension was reduced from 211 to 162 games. It’s possible Rodriguez would enjoy being in an environment that’s a little more under the radar than New York. He may very well say and do the right things, in order to get another contract. He may be so much more comfortable and motivated in Kansas City, he would perform like A-Rod performs.
A-Rod has a couple of things in common with Bonds and Clemons. Number one, he’s a first class a-hole to the max. Number two, drugs or no drugs, he’s one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Jerks win all of the time. How much stock do you give team chemistry?
His last full season was 2012. Even banged up and in decline, he performed.
A-Rod 2012 Stats
463 At Bats / 18 HR / 74 RBI / .272 average / .783 OPS
Mike Moustakas 2013 stats
472 At Bats / 12HR / 42 RBI / .233 average / .651 OPS
Consider this, A-Rod’s .783 OPS would have been the third highest among Royals starters last year. Butler put up .787 and Hosmer contributed .801.
Then consider the following scenario. You have no internal answers at third base, a pennant race within grasps, and a contrite, affordable, motivated Rodriguez attainable. Would you then consider, what seems now, the unthinkable?