Editor's Note: The following post is a part of the 2013 Purple Row Writer Search -- our quest to find some great new contributors to Purple Row.
With the news coming that Alex Rodriguez was linked to a PED supplier in Anthony Bosch, A-Rod is staring at a 50 game suspension and the Yankees may be looking to void his contract. There has been some speculation as to whether or not the Yankees can void the contract (they will be facing an uphill battle as there is no precedent that has been set with voiding a contract for using PED). Since this is the hot stove season, it made me wonder, if A-Rod is let go of his contract, should the Rockies make a run at him?
For the past few years, third base has been lacking in terms of production, with Garrett Atkins being the last third baseman to put together a solid season (with Garrett putting together a line of .286/21/99 in 2008). Last year, Chris Nelson and Jordan Pacheco combined to start the majority of games at third base (68 and 80 game respectively). These two players are better suited as super utility players than players who can lock down a position. Nolan Arenado presents as the best internal candidate for the Rockies at third, but he is still probably a season away. This brings us back to Alex Rodriguez.
When looking at projections for Alex Rodriguez, (provided by Rotochamp) the composite shows a pedestrian .267/6/23 line in 150 Abs. But this does not factor in the Coors Field effect on hitters, and last year's return to Cape Coors type numbers, one would have to believe that Alex would receive a boost to those numbers as well. This article (written in 2010) showed the average Rockies team total on offense, including where the Rockies ranked in ESPNs park factor since 2001.
Here is how I see it: If the Rockies sign A-Rod to a 1-year, $8 million deal and prorate it out over the season. This would cost the Rockies $5,530,865, allowing for the 50 game suspension I think he will face, over a 112 game season. This number is significantly less than what we are paying Michael Cuddyer or what we forked over for 3 wins from Jeremy Guthrie last year. I could see A-Rod batting everywhere from .275 - .285, with close to 20 homers and 80 RBIs over a partial season (if healthy of course).
This would leave us with a few scenarios over the first 50 games of the year without A-Rod. Split the ABs between Nelson and Pacheco, give Arenado a 50 game tryout at third, or go with a dark horse candidate like DJ LeMathieu or Ryan Wheeler. I would prefer to go with either option B or C, as this would put players in the best position to succeed, with Pacheco getting ABs at 1st, 3rd, and Catcher and Nelson getting ABs at 2nd, SS, and 3rd. Plus, in this scenario I would name Pacheco the backup Catcher thus freeing the Rockies from the below average play of Ramon Hernandez. This would also create some depth behind Troy Tulowitzki in case he cannot return back to form.
The only real question is, if he contract is voided, would A-Rod want to play in the thin air of Colorado.
To the Links!
Another article on the signing of Marc Magliaro.
Troy Renck gives us two reasons to be optimistic for the 2013 season.