The Phillies have a need, in fact, they have lots of needs. It should be an interesting off-season for fans as GM, Ruben Amaro, Jr., tries to re-tool this roster and turn it back into a championship contender. There’s lot of debate as to who the Phillies must pursue in free agency or via trades, but the one thing he must do before the start of spring training, is to find a way to get Alex Rodriguez into Phillies’ pinstripes.
If you’ve paid any attention to the playoffs, the New York Yankees were swept out by the Detroit Tigers and Rodriguez was benched for the last two games. He hit an embarrassing .120 with no RBIs during the playoffs, and only added to his reputation as not being clutch in the post-season.
Even with this latest performance, he would flourish in the Phillies lineup. Picture him batting third in front of a healthy, Ryan Howard and in back of a hopefully healthy, Chase Utley. He’d see plenty of fastballs to hit and playing in the band-box that is Citizen’s Bank Park, he’d hit about 20-25 home runs here. Although he’s 37, he still can play an above average 3rd base and can fill in at 1st against a tough left-handed pitcher when sitting Howard.
Another reason Rodriguez would thrive here, is that he no longer would have to be in the shadow of Mr. Yankee, Derek Jeter. He would have a fresh start in a new league without having to defer to Jeter. And after the way things ended for New York this week, Yankees’ GM, Brian Cashman, may be more eager to get A-Rod out of what’s left of manager, Joe Girardi’s hair.
The biggest pitfall obviously is what’s left on his contract. Rodriguez has 5 years and $114 million left on it with a no-trade clause. The Yankees would have to probably eat at least more than half to make it worth Ruben’s and the ownership group’s while. But New York has to be thinking about re-tooling that overpaid lineup after being shut down in the playoffs.
The 2013 free agent market at 3rd doesn’t look remotely appealing, unless the Mets get a brain-cramp and don’t exercise their option on David Wright, Rodriguez needs to be on the Phillies radar.
Incumbent, Kevin Frandsen, was definitely a surprise, but how much can he be counted on to produce for a full season. The Phillies already have a track record of putting their eggs in the basket of journeymen, career minor-leaguers, like John Mayberry, Jr., who can’t sustain a promising stretch from the previous season.
Phillies fans seem to love guys like this and hate guys like Rodriguez because he played for the enemy or they just don’t like the personalities. It’s not just Phillies fans, it’s all Philly sports fans, who would rather root for an underdog story, opposed to one that has already been proven.
No matter what the fans think, the Phillies should make the call and see what it will take to bring him here, but one thing’s for sure, if he somehow comes, guys, don’t take your girlfriends to the game.