Dave Cameron of Fangraphs put together a top 10 list of the players with the most negative trade value. These are players who you’d have to pay the other team to take, given their production at their level of compensation. A certain Yankee came in at #1-
#1 – Alex Rodriguez, 3B, New York
Remaining Commitment: 7 years, $174 million
When he was in Texas, Rodriguez was seen as having the biggest albatross of a contract in baseball, even though he was actually worth the money he was being paid. Now, though, he actually is the most overpaid player in the game. Age and injuries have taken him from an elite player to a merely good one, and yet he’s the game’s highest paid superstar. Worse, he turns 35 next Tuesday, and yet he’s signed for another seven years with a minimum of $174 million coming his way. In reality, it will be more than that, as he has $6 million bonuses to be paid out for hitting 660, 700, and 714 home runs, and another $6 million each if he ties and breaks the all-time HR record. If he stays relatively healthy and plays the full seven years, he could collect an additional $30 million on top of the already too-high salaries he’s due. It’s hard to think of any team that would give him $100 million for his 35-41 seasons, much less twice that. The Yankees would probably have to agree to eat something in the neighborhood of $110 to $120 million in order to move Rodriguez. Yikes, indeed.
There’s no doubt Alex is having a down year. He’s currently on pace to hit 27-28 HRs and his .847 OPS is the lowest he’s posted of any full season in the majors. Obviously the season’s not over, and maybe a big hot streak will get his numbers back to career norms. But were just a few days from August, so time is running out. If this is the post-steroid/amphetamine Alex, then we can forget talk about 800 HRs, and we may even forget about 700. Steroids take a toll on the body as a player ages, and they tend to break down due to various injuries. At age 34, it’s fair to start wondering if we have already seen the best from Alex and how much he has left going forward.
The good news is that Alex’s contract was front loaded, and his salary begins to decline after peaking this year at 32 mil. From Cot’s:
- 08:$27M, 09:$32M, 10:$32M, 11:$31M, 12:$29M, 13:$28M, 14:$25M, 15:$21M, 16:$20M, 17:$20M
But as you can see, the real salary relief doesn’t kick in until about 2015. Fangraphs has his value currently at 10.4 mil. Over a full season, that projects to 17.88 mil in value to the Yanks for the 2010 season. By contrast, his value just a year ago was 21.1 mil, a season that he missed the first 1/4 of the year rehabbing from hip surgery. As far as we know he’s been healthy this year, yet the numbers haven’t shown up. Unless Alex regains his pre-hip surgery form, he will continue to be one of the most overpaid and untradeable players in the game.
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