The other day, nearly half of RAB readers said they believe the Yankees will manage to trade Alex Rodriguez this offseason. Where and for who is another matter entirely, but we can all agree that the club will have to eat some portion of the $114M left on his contract to facilitate a trade. How much of that do they need to eat for the deal to make sense? I have no idea, but Eno Sarris ran through the numbers at FanGraphs.
Using various projections and aging curves, Eno comes up with a number around $80M (in either cash paid out or bad contracts coming back). I think the projections used were a little optimistic, but we’ll roll with them. That $80M number assumes the Yankees will be able to replace A-Rod’s production internally, with David Adams or Corban Joseph or Jayson Nix or whoever. That’s a big unknown here, the replacement. We also shouldn’t discount the intangibles — will moving A-Rod help or hurt the clubhouse culture? — as well as his marquee value. We have absolutely no way of addressing those last two points so don’t even try. On the field though, eating $80M of that $114M to send A-Rod elsewhere is the (theoretical) break-even point.