Mailbag: Alex Rodriguez, the Mets and David Wright

Michael asks:

With the arod situation, could the Yankees now be players for david wright?

[sny-editorial userid="16692447"]

Highly unlikely. Lets review the basics.

The Mets have a $16 million option with a $1 million buyout on David Wright, who will be 30 on Opening Day, for 2013. They have expressed interest in signing him to a long-term extension and say there are more talks coming soon. In the event that Wright and the Mets cannot come to terms on an extension this winter, during an exclusive negotiating window for the Mets, I think it is clear that the team should trade Wright. On the other hand, their best bet for building a functional offense in the next few years probably includes David Wright.

The Yankees are in line to pay Alex Rodriguez, who will be 37 on Opening Day, 2013, $28 million in 2013, and between $21 and $20 for the subsequent four years for a total of $114 million over five years. He has a $6 million bonus for hitting 660 homers, which is looking extremely likely since he’s sitting at 647 right now. The $6 million bonuses for homers number 714 and 756 look more dubious.

A-rod, despite a bad post-season, is not a bad player overall, although he was not the same player after returning from the disabled list with a broken hand, or even at his peak, when hew as the best player in baseball. Yes, he was 3-for-25 in the post-season. I defended hitting for A-Rod with Raul Ibanez against a right-handed reliever, Joe Johnson in game three against the Orioles.

Remember when Rodriguez was awesome? He averaged 7.8 fWAR in an eight-year stretch from 2000 through 2007, surpassing 9 fWAR five times in that span. Now, he’s merely a good player who is not worth his contract. He was 15th among all third basemen in fWAR this year at 2.2, but 122 games played, played the fewer games than anyone above him. Rather, if you cut the stats back to rate-based offensive metrics, he was the 8th best third baseman in baseball by wRC+ (114, where 100 is league average). He was a few runs below average defensively. Among Yankees, he was in a five-man group between 114-117 wRC+ that included Derek Jeter, Mark Teixera and Curtis Granderson. Again, solid, but not a star anymore.

Over at Fangraphs, Jeff Sullivan produced the splits I was going to write about, pointing out that Rodriguez hit .158/.226/.232 in 106 PA against righties after returning from the disabled list with a broken hand. Yikes. For reference, he hit .275/.346/.425 against righties in 269 PA before his break. With a winter of rest, perhaps he returns to his more recent form. Also, all that stuff hurts Rodriguez’s trade value.

So, for the Yankees to be interested in Wright, the following things would have to happen: 1. The Mets and Wright would have to fail to agree on a longterm contract in the 2012-13 offseason. 2. The Yankees decide, rightly that Wright is an upgrade over Alex Rodriguez at third base and worth trading for. 3. The Yankees and Mets consummate a deal that sends David Wright from Queens to the Bronx. 4. The Yankees either pay something like $42 million to their 3B in 2013 OR trade A-Rod and eat some obscene amount of money, say $60-80 millionto watch him play for some other team.

Rate those four things from likely to extremely unlikely.

By the end of the 2013 season, if the Mets and Yankees both trade their incumbent hot corner guys, I will have a totally different answer. At the moment, the answer is just essentially no, the Yankees and their A-Rod problem have little bearing on the Mets and David Wright.

[/sny-editorial]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s