Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees need a divorce. Badly. No matter what happens Thursday afternoon in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers -- or subsequent playoff game for the Yankees, if there are any -- that much is obvious.
In a terrific piece detailing just how bad things are between the Yankees and A-Rod, and why a divorce simply has to happen, Dave D'Alessandro of the Star-Ledger, wrote this:
No matter how many coats of happy-face they slap on this, no matter how many times they pretend he's still viable at 37, no matter how many denials they splutter about the trade discussions that are clearly going on above general manager Brian Cashman's pay grade, you have to admit this much:
It's just going to get more stupid from this point forward if they don't expedite a divorce, and if A-Rod has any affiliation with the Yankees when they report to Tampa in February it is just the latest proof that the people running this team just aren't prudent enough to take seriously.
Saying the Yankees and Rodriguez need a divorce, however, is the easy part. Actually making that happen, however is much easier said than done. Whether it is Cashman or Hal Steinbrenner and Co. who ultimately handle this, making A-Rod someone else's problem by Spring Training 2013 will require a magic trick that would make Houdini proud, and will require the budget-conscious Steinbrenner to reach waaaaaay deeper into his pocket than he wants to.
Rodriguez is 37. His production has declined for five straight seasons. He has a long injury history over the past few years. He is a lightning rod for controversy wherever he goes, and whatever he does. Oh, and he has $114 million plus a variety of historic home run bonuses in his contract for the next five years. The number you hear is that the Yankees will likely have to pay about $100 million of that contract for someone to take Rodriguez in a trade. That's a lot to stomach to have a player play for someone else.
Sure, there have been those rumors about the Yankees and Miami Marlins discussing a trade. Most likely, there is even some truth to them. But, is there any guarantee the Marlins would ultimately decide to take Rodriguez off the Yankees' hands? No, there isn't.
If not the Marlins, who would take him? The Los Angeles Dodgers? The Anaheim Angels? I have no idea. A-Rod, of course, has a list of teams he would go to.
Joe Lemire of Sports Illustrated thinks the Yankees will try, and fail, to move A-Rod.
Rodriguez is already 37 and hasn't played 140 total games in a season since 2007 and hasn't played 90 games in the field since 2010, meaning he's not a great fit for a National League club where he can't serve as designated hitter on occasion.
For better or worse -- and both options are very possible -- Rodriguez is and probably will be a Yankee.
I am not sure I agree with Lemire here. No matter the financial cost it seems that a divorce would be best for everybody. The cost of getting rid of him, in dollars, will be exorbitant. We are already seeing what keeping a fading A-Rod the Yankees no longer believe in is costing them on the field and in the fan base.
That is really the cost the Yankees need to be concerned about here.