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New York Yankees: Three reasons Alex Rodriguez should be released


I was initially suggested to write about five reasons the New York Yankees should TRADE Alex Rodriguez, but you know what, they shouldn’t trade A-Rod because any one in their right mind would take him. They should just RELEASE him. This is a soon to be 41-year-old designated hitter who hasn’t played more than 240 innings in the field since 2012. He’s a DH, and only a DH.

The Texas Rangers recently lost their starting designated hitter Prince Fielder thanks to a reoccurring neck injury, but they’d have to be crazy to trade for a guy who once played for the organization back in 2001 to 2003. The fact of the matter is not even the Yankees want to play Rodriguez. In the week before the All-Star break, A-Rod started just one of the team’s seven games with Carlos Beltran being the DH in other six.

A-Rod is hitting just .213 this season (well below his career .295 average) and has just six doubles, nine homers, and 29 RBIs. After a impressive come back 2015 campaign in which he had 33 home runs and 86 RBIs, Rodriguez hasn’t looked anywhere close to that this time around, and he’s offering zero offensive value to the Yankees.

Back in 2008 Rodriguez and the Yankees agreed upon a 10-year, $252.87 million deal that would conclude at the end of the 2017 campaign.

That contract came after he hit .314 with a major league-leading 1.067 OPS while also tallying 31 doubles and an MLB-best 54 home runs and 154 RBIs. Those days are well behind him though and since 2010 A-Rod had only hit 62 RBIs and 21 homers in a season – more than half of what he was producing when the deal was first signed. When he’s still being paid the amount of money that Rodriguez is making, is it worth keeping him around?

Don’t get me wrong. I am one of Rodriguez’s biggest fans, but the days of him hitting like this are well and truly past, so the Yankees should cut their losses and just release him.

There are so many great reasons as to why the Yankees should just go ahead and release the guy now, but I’ve condensed that down to three.

1. His 2016 Form

A-Rod is hitting just .213 this season (well below his career .295 average) and has just six doubles, nine homers, and 29 RBIs. After a impressive come back 2015 campaign in which he had 33 home runs and 86 RBIs, Rodriguez hasn’t looked anywhere close to that this time around, and he’s offering zero offensive value to the Yankees.

The one fascinating thing about Rodriguez’s 2016 season was that he entered just 13 home runs away from having 700 career bombs. He’s now two-thirds of the way there. The problem is before the most recent one that came Wednesday off Baltimore’s Kevin Gausman, the home run previous to that came a month before hand on June 18th against Minnesota. If it takes him a month to hit home run #697, then he’ll have to hit a further three more in the space of a little over six weeks. Right now, number 700 just doesn’t look like it’s going to come easy for him.

2. Give The Youth an Opportunity

The Yankees are going to be sellers at the trade deadline. The team is currently seven games out in the division and five back in the Wild Card race. They haven’t been more than two games over .500 at any point this year and never looked like contending during the first half of the season.

New York has two fantastic trade chips in Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller, while Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner, and even Brian McCann could also get dealt. With the departure of those guys, the Yankees will hopefully dip into their farm system and give young prospects like Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge, an opportunity at the major league level.

Releasing Alex Rodriguez is going to open up yet another roster spot they can give to a young kid like outfielder Tyler Austin, who is hitting .310 with 16 doubles, 11 home runs and 37 runs batted in at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

3. He Cannot Play the Field

Believe it or not, but Rodriguez won only two Gold Gloves in his whole career, the last of which came in 2003 when he was still playing shortstop with the Texas Rangers. Despite playing over 10,000 innings at third base, he was never the best player at his position while manning the hot corner. A-Rod was almost always in the lineup because of what he offered with the bat, not the glove.

He was still a decent third baseman up until the end of 2012 when injuries started to get the better of him. In 2015, Rodriguez played just 17.2 innings at third base and this season he’s started 54 games exclusively as the designated hitter. When he first came back from suspension last season, they tried to get him reps at his former position and even experimented with his value at first base, but none of that worked because he simply wasn’t good enough.

Up in Boston, David Ortiz has made a living being almost exclusively a DH. He played more than 2,100 innings in his career at first base but never was a very good defender and hasn’t played over 70 innings in the field since 2005. Most of his experience at first base came in 1998 when Ortiz was still in the early days of his career with the Minnesota Twins.

The difference between Big Papi and A-Rod has been that Ortiz could at least play some innings in the field to give the regular first baseman an off-day, and it would also keep his bat in the lineup when the Red Sox played in a National League park.

In 2015 Ortiz made nine starts at first base, and seven of them came when Boston was playing a road game against an NL team. Such has also been the case every year dating back to 2007. In fact, Papi’s last road start at first base against an American League team came in Tampa Bay way back in August of 2006.

The difference between A-Rod and Ortiz this year though is that Boston can live with his inability to play the field on a regular basis because their DH has a major league-best OPS of 1.083. A-Rod’s is a measly .619.


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]