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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Klapisch: Beginning of the end for A-Rod

OPS+ wise…that started 6 years ago.

This is only the beginning, just watch: Rodriguez will likely be back in the lineup tonight, but only because the Orioles will start lefty Joe Saunders. But A-Rod’s hold on the No 3 spot in the lineup is over, particularly against right-handers. Rodriguez will move down in the batting order, possibly tonight, and by next year we’ll begin to see less of him – more days off, fewer at-bats, more instances of Girardi, “listening to my gut” as he did with the Division Series on the line.

...He’s still owed $114 million through 2017, although one person familiar with ownership’s thinking predicted, “there’s no way Alex is still here after 2015.).” The Yankees will have to swallow a major portion of the remaining salaries in order to trade him, but Rodriguez, already unpopular with the fans, won’t be missed. Not really.

The metamorphosis has already begun, and no matter how it’s cloaked in the next few weeks – regardless if the Yankees finish off the Orioles in game 4, whether they breeze through the LCS and find themselves in the World Series – nothing will ever be the same between Rodriguez and the Bomber family.

His manager has stopped covering for him, which means there’s nothing left between Rodriguez and the truth. This has to hurt.

Repoz Posted: October 11, 2012 at 12:46 PM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4263745)
From center field, the Orioles’ Adam Jones said, “[the switch-off to Ibanez] caught me off guard, pinch hitting for a guy who’s half a billionaire.”


Adam Jones must have a loud voice.
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4263764)
In an alternate universe*, when a genuine all-time great gets pinch-hit for in the ninth inning of a playoff game, and that player responds to the decision not by pouting ala Pippen but by standing at the top step watching the action and celebrating mightily when his replacement hits the game-tying home run, that player's commitment to the team above his ego would be widely praised.

* Perhaps the alternate universe where Derek Jeter is getting pinch-hit for.

   3. PS is probably a sitcom character Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4263765)
Yankees flowchart:
Have we won the world series yet?
Yes: praise Jeter
No: blame A-Rod
   4. zonk Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4263774)
This is A-Rod's 5th straight year of offensive decline... no one is going to WANT him - even with the Yankees paying full freight - in 2015 at this pace.

Aaron, much less bonds, looks increasingly unlikely... hell - if he gets hurt next year, you really have to start to wonder if he can even catch Mays and trigger those bonuses on top of the salary.

I agree with #2 - and that's a pity - though...
   5. cmd600 Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4263782)
Who is going to take Rodriguez in 2016-2017? I know this is the same group that is still convinced Seattle will hand over Hernandez at half-price, but saying there's no way he's still there is beyond ridiculous.

Edit: coke to zonk
   6. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4263810)
Idk, a $114 million contract must look awfully tasty to Stan Kasten.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4263816)
In an alternate universe*, when a genuine all-time great gets pinch-hit for in the ninth inning of a playoff game, and that player responds to the decision not by pouting ala Pippen but by standing at the top step watching the action and celebrating mightily when his replacement hits the game-tying home run, that player's commitment to the team above his ego would be widely praised.


Ha, nice! They kept showing Rod and Rivera reacting, didn't it seem like Rivera "called" the game-tying homerun?
   8. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 11, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4263821)
I'm an ARod fan and I recognize he's still a good player, even if age/injuries are taking their toll, but:

It's a rough contract, and would be made even rougher if ARod never reaches the "milestones" that they believed he'd reach when they signed him to the contract.

And if they're forced to play a bad player who is hanging on to reach the milestones, that cuts into the value they can make from the deal.
   9. AROM Posted: October 11, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4263884)
Who is going to take Rodriguez in 2016-2017? I know this is the same group that is still convinced Seattle will hand over Hernandez at half-price, but saying there's no way he's still there is beyond ridiculous.


Long Island Ducks? Yuma Scorpions? Nippon Ham Fighters?
   10. John Northey Posted: October 11, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4263962)
What a bum A-Rod is - his OPS+ was 2 points lower than Jeter and we all know the media is on him to retire...er...

The problem for A-Rod is he was so high before that his decline looks horrible in relation, the plus is that is decline is from super to solid.

His Stats from 2007 to today ... a steady decline
OPS+: 176-150-138-123-119-112
Slg: 645-573-532-506-461-430
OBP: 422-392-402-341-362-353 - not a steady decline, but dropping
RBI: 156-103-100-125-62-57

He hasn't cracked 140 games in a season since 2007. This will be his first season since 1995 to not either get an MVP vote or make the All-Star team (no AS in 2009 & 1999, no MVP in 2011, 1997).

If I was another teams GM I'd certainly take A-Rod off the Yankees hands if they cover $20 mil a year of his contract ($28 mil next year, $25 mil 2014, $21 in 2015, $20 in 2016/17 thus a 5 year $14 mil deal) and I'd seriously consider it if they ate $15 mil a year (thus making it a 5 year/$39 mil deal). Odds are he will have a bounce back year soon, and FanGraphs puts his value at $9.8 mil this year and $15+ for every other year they estimate value for (2002-2011). As a Jays fan I'd love to get him and put him at 1B/DH and mix him in at 3B whenever Lawrie is hurt or to give Lawrie a day off.
   11. jmurph Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4264061)
Of all of the many that had his contract pegged as a disaster, I think McCoy in 42 is probably the most accurate (bonus points for the PEDs link).

EDIT: link below
   12. jmurph Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4264067)
   13. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4264144)
Now that he will not be breaking any of the big records, there is absolutely no reason to keep him.
   14. zonk Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4264147)

If I was another teams GM I'd certainly take A-Rod off the Yankees hands if they cover $20 mil a year of his contract ($28 mil next year, $25 mil 2014, $21 in 2015, $20 in 2016/17 thus a 5 year $14 mil deal) and I'd seriously consider it if they ate $15 mil a year (thus making it a 5 year/$39 mil deal). Odds are he will have a bounce back year soon, and FanGraphs puts his value at $9.8 mil this year and $15+ for every other year they estimate value for (2002-2011). As a Jays fan I'd love to get him and put him at 1B/DH and mix him in at 3B whenever Lawrie is hurt or to give Lawrie a day off.


Not me... at least, not without the Yankees taking on one MY bad contracts in return OR giving me something I actually want in return. I wouldn't go 5/40 on A-Rod if he hit the open market at that price. Maybe if I was a contender with a hole at 3B that was the 'missing piece', I suppose, but I'd pretty much plan/hope I'd get my title and then understand I'd be eating 20-30 million on the backside.

Yes, a 112 OPS+ is mighty fine... but again, it's his 5th straight season of offensive decline. He'll be 37 next season...he's increasingly fragile. I think A-Rod's upside is that he can arrest the decline starting next year (and I would expect that to be at around 105 OPS+) and sustain that for another season or two... but I don't think I'd want to pay to see if he can.

I think A-Rod's bouncebacks are behind him. He's not Scott Rolen yet - but he's getting there.
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4264164)
I think A-Rod's upside is that he can arrest the decline starting next year (and I would expect that to be at around 105 OPS+) and sustain that for another season or two


A-Rod's upside for 2013-2014 is certainly higher than a 105 OPS+....
   16. zonk Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4264199)

A-Rod's upside for 2013-2014 is certainly higher than a 105 OPS+....


Maybe... but even looking inside his offensive performance -- he's striking out a fair bit more than he used. He's no longer really walking, at least, nowhere near what he once did. He's been dinged and flatout hurt a lot for the past. He slugged .430 last year.

Sometimes, it's just over... Maybe a 105 should actually be the over/under, but I guess I'd just bet heavily on the under -- because I sort of feel like he's going to be more what Scott Rolen has been the last two seasons.

Would anyone take the bet that he will ever meet or exceed this past season again?
   17. spike Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4264202)
@3, I couldn't resist.

Yankee Fan Flowchart
   18. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4264207)
Jay Bruce grand slam
   19. zonk Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4264208)
I should note, though -- beyond a handful of in-season PAs, this postseason has been the most I've watched extended A-Rod at-bats... so maybe I'm just being colored too much by them... but they sure do seem to me more like burnt toast than grey area/funk.
   20. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4264220)
I called it terrible 3 times and was off by 1 year on when it would become particularly heinous.
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: October 11, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4264227)
He's been dinged and flatout hurt a lot for the past. He slugged .430 last year.


I think being flatout hurt is probably related to him slugging .430 this year.
   22. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4264238)
[19] Thing is, he was looking pretty good before he went down with the hand injury (.860 OPS for July) and frankly, since he's had no power since returning, it's very possible, if not likely, that he's not fully healthy.
   23. just plain joe Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4264279)
ARod to the Cubs, to fill their hole at 3B. You read it here first.
   24. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4264330)
I have to say this about Rodriguez: nobody looked more excited than he did when that first homer went over the wall. He could have pouted and been upset and sulked, but he went back to the dugout, swallowed his disappointment, and played cheerleader. Good on him for that.
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4264333)
ARod to the Cubs, to fill their hole at 3B. You read it here first.


Obviously for Soriano, just to complete the circle.
   26. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4264346)
The Angels would probably love to have add another aging bat at third base, if only the Yankees would pick up 80% of that salary.
   27. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4264360)
How good or bad is Rodriguez as a defensive 3B. Because if the Yankees wanted to take Dan Uggla and give him ARod's contract, and send ARod to Atlanta for the next two years (or whatever payments between teams required to make that happen) I'd consider it. But not through 2017 or whatever, probably.
   28. zonk Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4264377)
ARod to the Cubs, to fill their hole at 3B. You read it here first.



Obviously for Soriano, just to complete the circle.


Hmmmm... Would the Yankees equalize the money? In effect - the Cubs get A-Rod for the remaining 36 million they owe Soriano?

I still don't think I'd do that - I think Soriano is a better bet to more valuable than A-Rod for the next 2 years - but it's an interesting thought...

Personally, I think I'd ask the Yankees to toss in some lottery tickets... Is JR Murhpy too much? I'd like Corban Joseph, but I suspect he's too well thought of.

   29. The Good Face Posted: October 11, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4264468)
How good or bad is Rodriguez as a defensive 3B. Because if the Yankees wanted to take Dan Uggla and give him ARod's contract, and send ARod to Atlanta for the next two years (or whatever payments between teams required to make that happen) I'd consider it. But not through 2017 or whatever, probably.


He's adequate. Strong arm, sure hands, pays attention and plays hard. Does not have catlike reflexes, which limits his range. Deeply uncomfortable with pop-ups; will usually make the plays he should make, but it's always an adventure. Probably a half tick below average, but not bad enough to really hurt a team much.
   30. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4264498)
Hmmmm... Would the Yankees equalize the money? In effect - the Cubs get A-Rod for the remaining 36 million they owe Soriano?


I doubt it. Even if you think Soriano is better (and I'm not sold on that) A-Rod fills a bigger need than Soriano, so why would they move A-Rod if they're not saving money?

Do the Dodgers need a 3B?

   31. Nasty Nate Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4264505)
Hmmmm... Would the Yankees equalize the money? In effect - the Cubs get A-Rod for the remaining 36 million they owe Soriano?

I still don't think I'd do that - I think Soriano is a better bet to more valuable than A-Rod for the next 2 years - but it's an interesting thought...


wait, you mean the Cubs get A-Rod for 5 years at the same overall cost as Soriano for 2 years?
   32. bunyon Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4264536)
All the big teams ought to get together, throw one bad contract each into a hat and draw.
   33. The District Attorney Posted: October 11, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4264538)
Do the Dodgers need a 3B?
I'm sure you're joking and rightly so, but from articles I vaguely remember (too lazy to find cites, sorry), my impression is that A) they would prefer to play Hanley at SS, and B) they did inquire about A-Rod before the big deal with Boston...
   34. John Northey Posted: October 11, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4264641)
Hmm... the Angels were nuts enough to take on nearly 100% of Vernon Wells contract so who knows?
   35. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 11, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4264643)
Mr DA -- I was intrigued so I checked. What I saw was Joel Sherman said the LAD asked about CC and Teix, but that other people than the LAD or NYY kept talking about possibly trading Alex.
   36. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: October 11, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4264679)
Concur with SoSH. Also, what's the going rate on a 112 OPS+, below-average thirdbaseman?
   37. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: October 11, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4264682)
I bet the Red Sox end up with him for a year.
   38. SteveF Posted: October 11, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4264778)
I'd bet Rodriguez is out of baseball and not playing for anyone for some years of his contract.
   39. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 11, 2012 at 07:38 PM (#4264780)
I bet the Red Sox end up with him for a year.

Funnily enough I reckon he'd do well having half his games at Fenway. I, however, do not think there is any chance at all that NY sends him to Boston AND pays 60% of the salary.

Of course he could always go to St. Louis and drink whatever magical water they have over there and post like an 125 OPS+ for the next 3/4 years and prove us all wrong.
   40. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 11, 2012 at 07:42 PM (#4264788)
Hmm... the Angels were nuts enough to take on nearly 100% of Vernon Wells contract so who knows?
Well, Tony Reagins isn't the GM anymore, but the owner is definitely willing to open his wallet. Considering the very little they're getting from 3rd base, if the Yankees swallow the vast majority of the contract, the Angels might jump.
   41. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: October 11, 2012 at 07:58 PM (#4264823)
Maybe this was addressed in the game chatter at the time, but does anyone know how often (if ever) a player with 600+ home runs was replaced by a pinch hitter? Other than injury situations, obviously.
   42. rlc Posted: October 12, 2012 at 12:51 AM (#4265701)
does anyone know how often (if ever) a player with 600+ home runs was replaced by a pinch hitter?


Not often enough; Thome looks like he may never get a clean base hit again...
   43. AROM Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:02 AM (#4265750)
There aren't many 600 homer guys to look at, but pinch hitting for half of them, depending on matchups, probably makes sense. By the time they got to 600, Sosa, Griffey, and Thome were not great hitters anymore. Mays was still great at 600 but declined shortly after that. Bonds, Ruth, and Aaron still had plenty of greatness in their bats.
   44. BochysFingers Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:14 AM (#4265758)
does anyone know how often (if ever) a player with 600+ home runs was replaced by a pinch hitter?

You might want to rephrase that as "does anyone know how often (if ever) a player with 600+ home runs was replaced by a pinch hitter in a meaningful situation". I gotta think that Bonds was PH for in his last years, but mostly in very low leverage situations.
   45. BDC Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:33 AM (#4265768)
I don't think Mays was pinch-hit for in 1973 (the only year I checked). Sosa wasn't pinch-hit for in 2007, which is actually kind of odd, because he was very much a platoon player at that point. I don't think Griffey was PH for in 2009; in 2010 I found only this game on 16 April, and of course that was the terrible reportedly-asleep final few games for Griffey, just sad to watch. I reckon that when a 600-HR guy (or in earlier years, a 500-HR guy like Mathews or Banks) is on his last legs, he's in the lineup as an odd-home-run threat, batting fifth or sixth. One rarely pinch-hits for such players, because you save your PH for pitchers, catchers, shortstops, guys who bat 8th or 9th. No harm in leaving, say, Thome in the lineup, because even on his last legs he has as good a chance of hitting a home run as anybody you'd conceivably PH for him, which is usually the outcome you'd hope for. In fact, he's likely to be that hope-for-a-HR pinch-hitter himself when he's not in the lineup.

EDIT: And along those lines, and as AROM suggests, I can't believe (pace #44) that Barry Bonds was ever PH for, barring perhaps an injury at some point. In 2007 he routinely left games in the late innings, for a defensive caddy, but what earthly reason is there to pinch-hit for a guy with an on-base percentage of .480? It's like pinch-running for Billy Hamilton. :)
   46. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:39 AM (#4265772)
Concur with SoSH. Also, what's the going rate on a 112 OPS+, below-average thirdbaseman?


Well, Ramirez got 3/$36 from the Brewers, and he's a bit better than 112 OPS+.
   47. bunyon Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:43 AM (#4265781)
Thome and A-Rod share that they look entirely lost up there now. I htink Thome is taking too many pitches. It seems like every at-bat, the first pitch is a meatball that he calmly looks before starting to flail at curve balls down.
   48. BDC Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:51 AM (#4265790)
In fairness to Thome, obviously, he's 42 years old and making "only" a million-and-a-quarter this year. The quintessential last-gasp spare part.
   49. bunyon Posted: October 12, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4265800)
I;m not even really criticizing him. I stopped being able to lay off the curveball when I was 18.

II think saying A-Rod and Thome look similar is a huge insult to A-Rod. He looks lost up there. I didn't see a lot of Yankee games down the stretch so I don't know if it's a recent slump or a new level - we all look bad at our worst.

But A-Rod looks like a guy who badly needs to re-tool in the off-season.
   50. BochysFingers Posted: October 12, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4266719)
his game on 16 April

With the game 11-3 in the late innings, this is exactly the situation for which one might reasonably PH for a 600 HR guy.
   51. EddieA Posted: October 12, 2012 at 10:30 PM (#4267167)
Bonds was pinch hit for in this game
August 28 2004
Giants were down 9-1 and it was about 100 degrees.

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