Nov 15, 2007

Just say no

People were saying that after Arod's deal in 2001 that $25 million a year wouldn't look as bad in a few years (with inflation and the increasing free agent financial market). It still does. Some thought that other top players would be compensated similarly. It never happened nearly to the extent some thought it would. Even Manny’s crazy contract ($160 million for 8 years) has him making $8 mil (per year) less than Arod. Is Arod worth $8 mil more than Manny? Nope. Look at the stats - Arod's the better defender and base-runner, but Manny’s the better hitter.

Sure Arod will (probably) be good for .295/.380/.570 for the next few years. But what happens when he starts declining, which could happen as soon as next year? Everyone has to realize Arod had a career year in '07. He’s highly unlikely to repeat it. Historically speaking, he’ll only get worse from here on out. That Bonds played great well into his late 30s and early 40s is only a testament to the power of steroids. As in my previous post, I don't believe Arod juices so the same benefits of longevity won't apply to Alex. Never mind the decline in defense he'll suffer.

Another reason not to sign Arod to the supposed mega-deal is the draft picks. If he signs elsewhere, the Yanks get two top picks in the 2008 draft. They probably wouldn't be better than Arod, but together they might be. Who will have more value over the next 5-10 years, Arod or Joba and Kennedy (the top two picks of 2006)? Probably the pitchers, especially counting for value (effectiveness per dollar). Now not every draft is that good, but we know that it can be. Phil Hughes was a first round pick. So was C.J. Henry who helped us acquire Abreu. There are definitely busts out there, but the pros outweigh the cons (in my opinion, as always).

And it ain’t just the amount of money ($275 million+, which is insane), but it puts the Yanks even higher above the luxury tax. That money goes to other teams. I’m sick of handing out money to make other teams better. If the Yanks were run more efficiently (Lowell for 4 years, $60 million?!), they would have a top team without helping out our competitors.

The next decade (still hard to believe the length) is going to be a(nother) damn circus. It’s enough. Let another team get the albatross, we get the draft picks and can finally move on. Contrary to popular belief, Arod is not a prerequisite to winning. Arod has two MVPs in the last three years, yet zero titles (or even World Series appearances). '96-'03, six Series appearances, four titles. Obviously a lot of that was due to pitching, but that's the point: we did it without an MVP and first-ballot Hall of Fame hitter - we didn't need one. Now, I do think the team will be better for the next few years with Arod, but again, he's not a prerequisite to winning. For the long term I believe it's a detriment.

What'll happen when he has an off year (or off month) and the boos return? It's tough for Arod, tough for his teammates, tough for the managers, tough for the front office, tough for the fans that don't boo him - just a bad situation. I really think its better for everyone to just split.

And the home run record incentive is stupid too. What’s to stop him from solely trying for HRs from here on out? Pride you might say? The same pride that made him opt-out during the World Series? Anyway, that seemed to be his biggest problem in '06 - always trying to hit the long ball. Now that he has a (huge) monetary incentive just to hit HRs, why would he try to get that runner in from 2nd with a single rather than swinging for the fences?

In closing, I’m sure I’ve overlooked some things but I tried to get all my thoughts out at once. They just came flowing and I apologize in advance for any mistakes.

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