News Column

'A-Rod Would Be a Draw with Marlins'

Oct. 18, 2012

Phil Rogers

Alex Rodgriquez

Talking playoff baseball while flirting from the doghouse, a la A-Rod:

1. Would the Yankees actually trade Alex Rodriguez to the Marlins? You better believe they would.

Late last week, I proposed that the Yankees should deal Rodriguez to his hometown team for manager Ozzie Guillen, which would clear the way for owner Jeffrey Loria to take a mulligan one season after giving Guillen a four-year contract.

I was kidding, sort of. But the conversation between Loria and Yankees President Randy Levine, which was reported by Keith Olbermann on an MLB.com blog, was not a joke. Loria asked if he would trade Rodriguez and Levine jumped at the idea.

Will it happen? Probably not. There are a lot of issues that could get in the way, including Rodriguez's no-trade rights. But this trade makes a lot of sense, especially if the Yankees would pick up much of the $114 million left on Rodriguez's contract, which runs through 2017.

The Marlins need a draw, and Rodriguez is popular in Miami. They don't have a third baseman, so he's a fit that way. And to make the deal work the Yankees could take on some of the Marlins' contracts, with Heath Bell's being the most obvious one. But what about some that aren't so obvious?

Would Mark Buehrle go to the Yankees? Could you trade Guillen?

Managers have been traded before, the most successful example being when the Mets acquired Gil Hodges, in the middle of a multiyear contract, from the Senators for right-hander Bill Denehy after the 1967 season. Hodges won the World Series with the Mets two years later.

But what would Guillen do for the Yankees? That's the tricky part. You probably could convince him to take Joe Girardi's job, but it's hard to see the Yankees as the rebound team for a guy who blew up after one year in South Florida.

Oh, that's right. They've already done that once, haven't they?

That's how Girardi got to New York. Loria canned him and the Yankees hired him.

Maybe this isn't as far-fetched as it seems - but I think it is.

2. When cold, rainy weather hit Philadelphia during the 2008 World Series, Commissioner Bud Selig made an executive decree that if a game started and had to be stopped because of weather it would be considered a suspended game, not a postponed or rain-shortened official game.

That came into play in Game 5, which was suspended by rain midway through the fifth inning with the Phillies and Rays tied 2-2. His decree became law that winter when general managers and owners approved it.

Talk about a good decision. It had to ease the concerns of the Giants considerably Wednesday night when Game 3 of the NLCS was stopped by rain in the bottom of the seventh inning with the Cardinals leading 3-1. The forecast called for a long rainstorm, but the teams knew they would complete the game, either Wednesday night or Thursday.

It's hard to believe MLB made it to 2008 without requiring teams to play nine innings in postseason games, but it was the right thing to do.

3. You have to admire the Giants' array of pitching options. Manager Bruce Bochy had not committed to his Game 4 starter before Game 3 and had added a third option to a choice that seemed to come down to two former Cy Young winners, Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito. Bochy confirmed that Game 1 starter Madison Bumgarner had thrown a bullpen session Tuesday, putting him into play. Bumgarner threw only 73 pitches over 32/3 innings in that game, allowing six runs and taking the loss.

"More than anything we're trying to keep our options open," Bochy said before Game 3. "You look at today, with the possibility of rain, having a rain delay, having to take your starter out. We have all of our guys available. And if I have to use them, I'll use them. Then we'll see where we are after the game. I think that's as much of it as anything."

The Cardinals will start Adam Wainwright, whom the Nationals pounded Friday, putting St. Louis into its early hole.



Source: (c) 2012 Chicago Tribune Distributed by Mclatchy-Tribune News Service.


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