Inside the A-Rod trade


Ten years ago today, the Yankees acquired Alex Rodriguez and $67M from the Rangers for Alfonso Soriano and Joaquin Arias. New York landed the best player in baseball at age 28 on what amounts to a seven-year, $112M contract. Things with A-Rod are terrible now, but he was a monster from 2004-07 before using his opt-out clause. It was one of the best trades in history.

Joel Sherman has a look inside how the trade went down, including the failed deal with the Red Sox. It’s similar to ESPN’s 30 for 30 video but it includes some more big picture and long-term information. For example, Rangers owner Tom Hicks hoped signing A-Rod would lead to developers gobbling up the 270 acres he owned around The Ballpark in Arlington. Texas also came close to flipping Soriano for Jose Reyes after the trade, and the opt-out was designed to help Rodriguez finish his career with the Mets, his favorite team growing up. Check it out, there’s some pretty interesting stuff in the article.

Categories : Asides
  • Tanakapalooza Floozy

    Trying to decide what it means for one’s psyche when one’s favorite team growing up is the Muts. Not good I should think.

  • Doc Ellis on Acid

    He was a monster and yet they won nothing.

    • Tanakapalooza Floozy

      Except for the WS in 2009, yes.

      • Doc Ellis on Acid

        That wasn’t a year referenced in the post.

        • Mr. Roth

          Despite the fact the post did not reference it, 2009 still occured.

          • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

            It did?

            • Mr. Roth

              What did? Are you talking about 2007?

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Screen names we’ve never seen before who are looking to argue (hmmm…..) can choose what years happened, and what didn’t.

            Just tell me 2004 didn’t happen. That’s all I need.

            For me, personally, 1989 probably wasn’t a great year. Let’s do away with that as well.

    • Doc Ellis on Acid

      I was a huge A-Rod fan, but even with how awesome he was, those 2004-07 teams just weren’t very good outside of the offense. Part of that is they developed no talent (Andy Phillips at 1B!?). The other part is their pitching went downhill.

      Still it’s amazing to look back and realize the talent those teams had and they did nothing with it. I guess when you punt on the rotation with the likes of Pavano, Vazquez, Wright, Chacon, and even Big Unit at his age, it’s not that surprising.

      The inability to develop pitching really has been a killer. They wasted prime years from Cano, Jeter, A-Rod, Posada, even Sheffield, Matsui, and Giambi.

      • jjyank

        I agree that the weak pitching of those teams was a problem, but I wouldn’t say they wasted prime years of all those guys. They were still a very successful organization, and all of those position players you listed got a ring in 2009 except for Sheffield and Giambi. I know you’re talking about 2004-2007, but it seems silly to limit the discussion to those years if we’re talking about wasted production from those players when they won it all two years later.

        I also disagree with having Vazquez lumped into “punting the rotation”. He pitched a 3.24 ERA season right before his first stint with the Yankees. He was a good pitcher who just didn’t work out for the Yanks.

        • TWTR

          Vasquez lead major-league baseball in abuse points in 2003 per BP’s ratings system. Red flags were ignored.

          • jjyank

            Abuse points?

          • jjyank

            Taking a closer look…

            230.2 IP, 3.24 ERA, 3.31 FIP, 3.41 xFIP, 9.40 K/9, 2.22 BB/9, 5.9 WAR.

            Acquiring that pitcher at age 28 doesn’t seem like punting on the pitching staff. It just didn’t work out. And even that was really just a bad second half. He was pretty good in the first half. Hardly the same thing as getting an over the hill Randy Johnson, or some such similar moves.

    • b-rar

      Entirely A-Rod’s fault.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        Isn’t it always?

    • TWTR

      So basically you are saying that they would have been much worse without him, and yes, that is true.

    • http://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/generic?iso=20140401T19&p0=179&msg=Opening+Day! Get Phelps Up

      Nearly a .600 winning % in those 4 years is nothing?

  • BrianMcCannon

    A-Rod was a Mets fan growing up? That explains everything..

  • qwerty


    Trading Soriano’s last 3 years for 4 years of Arod does not equate into the best trade in history. I’m sorry, but it’s not. Not to mention that Arod cost 2.5 times more than Soriano during that 3 year time span. I somehow doubt Arod was capable of 2.5 more offense than Sori when that trade was made.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      There is more to life than offense.

      A-Rod gave the Yankees 29 WAR during the four years before the opt-out. Soriano was worth 9.1 WAR during the three years they gave away. Arias has been a non-factor. This doesn’t even include all the money they made off A-Rod through tickets and concessions and merchandise.

      • qwerty

        When a stat tells me that Manny Machado’s value is equal to Miguel Cabrera, an MVP and triple crown winner/candidate, then you know that stat is worthless. I’ll give you that Arod’s defense is superior. That defense and extra bit of offense is not worth paying 2.5 times what Soriano was making though. You simply can’t convince me that Arod was 2.5 times the player soriano was at the time. There was no way in hell that Arod was going to reproduce the height of his numbers consistently once that trade was made. Arod was set to come back down to earth to an average 130-145 wRC+, while Soriano was probably going to maintain a 120-135 wRC+ That’s a differential of anywhere from 10-25% in offense. Where is the value in that considering how much more in salary the yankees paid for Arod, even if you factor in defense?

        • qwerty

          I also left out the fact that may be times that Soriano could have potentially matched Arod in offense if you pair up those wRC+ numbers I posted.

        • Ryan

          It’s worth remembering that the Yankees only paid A-Rod about $16MM/yr from 04-07.

    • Mr. Roth

      FYI – The article said, “It was one of the best trades in history.”

      “One of the best” =/= “the best”