Unsurprisingly Alex Rodriguez has emerged as the scapegoat for the 2012 Yankee collapse versus Detroit. He brought a lot of this on himself. He played terribly, and he may or may not have hit on Kyna Treacy during a loss. Combine that with the fact that he’s the man the baseball media loves to hate and A-Rod, and A-Rod alone, is the reason the Yankees are not going to the World Series. (Kindly forget that Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher also forgot to show up against the Tigers.) Now there is serious speculation that the team will trade Alex, possibly to the Marlins.
The trade talk has focused on the perceived off the field trouble Alex brings to the team. Maybe he’s a clubhouse cancer, maybe he’s not. Only those familiar with the team intimately know for sure. What no one has discussed is that Rodriguez remains good at his job. 2012 was far from Alex’s best season, but he still managed 2.2 fWAR, a .342 wOBA and a 114 wRC+. That’s a far cry from the glory days between 2005 and 2007 when Rodriguez was flirting with 50 homers and 10 fWAR every year, but that was still good enough to make him a positive contributor to the team. In fact, offensively Alex still ranks as a solid bat at his position.
It is easy for fans and the media to freak out after such a disappointing end to the season. New blood is always welcome on any baseball team. However, it is equally important to keep track of the facts. Should the Yankees decide that it is time to try their luck with a different third baseman they should do it because Rodriguez is old, or perhaps because his perceived indifference during the ALCS has irreversibly damaged his relationship with his team, but they shouldn’t do it because they think Alex is a bad player. Demonstrably, he’s a good player, certainly an overpaid player, but still one that is productive.
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