Should Marlins make push for A-Rod?
MIAMI — Priority No. 1 on the Marlins’ offseason shopping list is finding an impact third baseman.
Will their search lead them to Alex Rodriguez?
That’s the hot topic on Wednesday.
Keith Olbermann reported on MLB.com’s MLBlogs Network that the Marlins have talked with the Yankees about a possible trade for A-Rod. One scenario to pull off the deal would be for the Marlins to send Heath Bell to New York.
Bell has two years remaining on his $27 million contract. The right-hander had a disappointing first season in Miami, where he lost his closer role in the second half.
Olbermann’s post claimed: “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. “None of the sources could give an indication as to how serious the discussions have already gotten, but one of them close to the Marlins’ ownership said he believed the trade made sense for both sides, and would eventually be made in some form.”
Considering the Marlins’ needs, and A-Rod’s declining relationship in New York, speculating the Marlins could be a fit was pretty obvious.
And the Marlins, like last year, promise to be active in the offseason as they look to restructure their roster.
But from Miami’s standpoint, right now, the club still has many unanswered questions that are expected to be resolved next week at the team’s organizational meetings.
There still has not been official word if Ozzie Guillen will return as manager, and whether there will be any restructuring in the front office.
Of course, team owner Jeffrey Loria could be taking the lead on such a high-profile decision. Maybe he did extend some feelers in the Yankees’ direction.
But on Wednesday, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reported Yankees general manager Brian Cashman as saying the A-Rod rumor is “not true.”
That’s understandable, because the Yankees right now are focused on trying to stay alive in the American League Championship Series, where they trail 3-0 to the Tigers.
The fact A-Rod has been benched raises more speculation that his days could be numbered in New York.
The Marlins make perfect sense as a possible landing spot if New York opts to move their controversial slugger. Rodriguez could block any trade, because he has at least 10 years in the big leagues, including at least five with the Yankees. But there is reason to believe he would welcome a deal to Miami, his home.
Money, of course, would be an issue.
If the Yankees pick up all or almost all of the remaining salary, a trade could make sense for both sides.
There certainly would be star power if the Marlins had Rodriguez playing next to shortstop Jose Reyes.
Although his production has been in decline, Rodriguez is a threat, and he would provide protection in the middle of the lineup for Giancarlo Stanton.
The Marlins are never shy about finding ways to create headlines, and A-Rod is one of the most recognized athletes in any sport. He would certainly help sell some tickets, and more merchandise.
For now, it’s an interesting topic to discuss on talk radio and generate attention in blog posts. The reality is, we should have a better idea of what the Marlins are thinking in a week or so, after they put to rest speculation about their manager and front office.
— Joe Frisaro