Reliving the A-Rod trade

Towers to meet with Yanks, others in Indy
What the Blue Jays seek for Halladay

While most of us were business chowing down on turkey and stuffing and pie yesterday, Ben Nicholson-Smith revisited the Alfonso Soriano for Alex Rodriguez swap as part of his “Trades of the Decade” series at MLBTR. Texas also received shortstop Joaquin Arias, who was one of the Yanks’ best prospects at the time, in the deal. They selected him out of a pool of five minor leaguers that also included Jose Valdez and some Double-A second baseman named Robinson Cano.

I found out about the trade while watching TV when I was waiting for a table at Applebees (yeah yeah) with my then-girlfriend, and I remember my mind being completely blown. Where was he going to play? Was Jeter going to move off short? Who else did they give up? In a world before MLBTR and the internet at your fingertips, it was a complete shock and I couldn’t wait to get home to find out what the hell happened. Those were the days, when trades just happened and you had no idea what was coming.

Towers to meet with Yanks, others in Indy
What the Blue Jays seek for Halladay
  • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

    “Those were the days, when trades just happened and you had no idea what was coming.”

    Ah, the dark ages…

  • Omg!Zombies!

    I really really really did not want the Yanks to trade Soriano for Arod. But I’m glad they did. Soriano had a great short peak but the Yankees got a player will put up MVP numbers every year.

    • Jamal G.

      I really really really did not want the Yanks to trade Soriano for Arod.

      Dude, I was 14 at the time and I still knew that Alex Rodriguez >>>>>>>>>>> Alfonso Soriano. Seriously, why didn’t you want Soriano to leave in favor of the then-greatest player in MLB?

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        He’s still not a very far second to Pujols when healthy.

        • Dave

          True. In fact he could compete with Pujols next year if his hip is fully healthy. He’ll be playing a full, healthy season, in Yankee Stadium, with this new relaxed approach? That could be a big year for him.

          • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

            To be totally honest, I predict an average A-Rod year. Which is GREAT, I just don’t think the “new, relaxed approach” will make a difference.

            I predict Tex for MVP.

  • Matt ACTY/BBD

    The Yankees would be better of w/o A-Rod and w/Soriano.


  • Joey H

    So let me guess, the date went something like this: Mike spends $4,000 on boneless wings and celery sticks in celebration that his favorite team got the best player in the game and he’s still paying it off. I remember that day too. Quite crazy. It made it all the better that the Red Sox didn’t get him; just like Teixeira.

  • Jordan

    This trade is one of those I’ll always remember where I was deals. I first heard about it while in a hotel room watching CNN in Rome. I had to rush out the next day and buy a USA Today to read all about it. Total shock and pure joy all at the same time.

  • Matt ACTY/BBD

    I don’t remember the trade itself too vividly, but I do remember getting a haircut during the press conference to introduce A-Rod and the barber shop had it on ESPNEWS. I had the biggest grin on my face.

  • Jamal G.

    Interesting quote in a reactionary piece of the trade from Rob Neyer in regards to the Yankees potentially being hampered by their unprecedented $190-million payroll:

    I attended a local SABR meeting this weekend, and Mike Rice noted that the Yankees’ payroll, as a percentage of all MLB payroll, was essentially the same in 2003 as it was in 1977, and generally has remained stable since then.

    If true, I find that quite amazing.

  • Ams223

    I was outside of the zigfield going to see Miracle in it’s opening weekend.

  • Steve H

    Now if we can just trade A-Rod for Cody Ransom.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Oh boy, when that happens I smell a dynasty.

  • Cry_Me_A_Rivera

    My sister saw Soriano at the airport soon after he was traded and said he just looked crushed. I liked the guy, but yeah it was a no brainer trade.

  • John

    looks like the yanks traded away a smart one.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      This is really unfair, but my memory of Ross Ohlendorf is having him come in to face Delgado with the bases loaded and just KNOWING he’d give up a grand slam. He did, too.

      • John

        haha yeah when ohlendorf was on, he was pretty darn good. But when his ball had no sink. ouch. I remember that game pretty well, the crowd was killing him. I remember hearing an interview with ohlendorf on XM radio. supposedly he wrote his senior thesis at princeton on whether or not teams get their money back on draft picks

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          Ohlendorf was not really bad. But when he was traded I rememberhaving very little reaction.

  • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

    This was one of the best trades in Yankee history, regardless of what Torre and Verducci say in The Yankee Years

    • Steve H

      +27. Consider for a moment, what would have happened if we didn’t make the trade. Do we sign a declining Soriano to a horrible contract? Also, right around the trade is when they figured out Soriano was 2 years older than he said. Do we keep Soriano (and his horrible D) at 2nd and trade Cano, and for what???

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        The arguement in The Yankee Years was “A-Rod is more trouble than he’s worth, and the Yankees needed pitching.”

        The first point is just totally wrong. There is truth in the second point, but on the other hand the Yankees still could have had a decent pitching staff, they just had a few bad FA signings; the right singings and that 04′ team would have been killer.

  • John

    Also, the lunch lady at my school the entire week before had been saying that Arod was going to the Yankees and they were going to move him to 3rd base. The day of the trade came and someone said: “the Yankees made a big move today, guess who” and i just smiled and said “they got Arod didn’t they”

    • Steve H

      Always trust the lunch lady.

      • steve (different one)

        hoagies and grinders, hoagies and grinders

        navy beans navy bean navy bean navy beans


        sloppy joes slop sloppy joes

        • Steve H

          Well, me and Sloppy Joe got married.
          We got six kids and we’re doin’ just fine
          Down in Lunch Lady Land.

        • Riddering

          Wow, that song takes me back down nostalgia land even more than this post.

  • Evan

    I remember getting up, seeing the headline on and telling my mother about it.

  • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

    You know, my reaction to the Texeira signing was very similar.

    • Evil Empire

      Agreed. In terms of that pure “FUCK YES I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING” emotion, they are comparable experiences.

  • steve (different one)

    so odd to think how many things were set in motion by Aaron Boone violating his contract by playing basketball in the off-season…

  • steve (different one)

    it is also amazing to think how much BS will be gone forever now that A-Rod has a ring.

    in 2-3 years we’ll look back at the “A-Rod isn’t clutch/no one likes him/let’s boo A-Rod” period and we won’t be able to believe it.

    • Steve H

      see Manning, Peyton.

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    I was at the World Series in Miami in 2003, and I was amazed that Soriano would continue to chase the breaking pitch, well off the plate, over and over again. I loved me some Alfonso, but come on, he netted us Alex Freaking Rodriguez.

    • steve (different one)

      i had (tiny) doubts until i found out he was 2 years older than we thought. that was that.

  • adeel

    honestly, after giambi, kevin brown and all that ilk, i didn’t know what to make of fa signings. When he signed, I remember being happy that he’ll play third, but I just didn’t think it was what we needed at the time. I thought we lost the production of Soriano for the production of A-rod, but how many wins would that superior bat land us, 2-3??

    • Mike Axisa

      Since the trade, A-Rod’s been worth 40.7 wins, and Soriano’s been worth 17.2 (according to FanGraphs).

  • http://chefrob rob

    i liked sori, but by lasting memory of him will be seeing him swing at sliders 4 feet outside the zone in the ’03 postseason. besides cone for i cant remember, the best trade in my 30+ years as a yankee fan