10.15.2006

Trade A-Rod

Now that its been a little while and I have recovered from the Yankees horrible ALDS, I figured I would look at the hot topic in Yankeeland. To trade or not to trade Alex Rodriguez. To analyze this I will only consider the on field performance, because I dont think the off the field stuff was that big of an issue (the team did almost win 100 games). To analyze value added to the team I will use Win Shares. Its a complicated stat devised by Bill James that tries to compile a players contribution to his team into a single number that represents the number of wins added to the team multiplied by three.

Alex Rodriguez this year contributed 25 WS to the Yankees, only Garret Atkins, Miguel Cabrera, and David Wright contributed more at third base. Both Cabrera and Wright are pretty untouchable and Atkins performance may be slightly flukey. So if the Yankees trade A-Rod and want to be as good next year they will have to see make up his 25 win shares between a few positions. The Yankees were weakest last season in starting pitching and bullpen. So assuming the Yankees sign a free agent third baseman who is decent (think Aubrey Huff, Mark DeRosa, or Joe Randa) they will then want to make up the difference between A-Rod and those guys in what they get in return for A-Rod. Those guys on average contributed between 3 and 18 WS (With DeRosa contributing 18). DeRosa had a bit of a fluke year but lets assume on average these free agent third base options would contribute 5 win shares. That means the Yankees are worse by 20 win shares or about 7 wins.

For the Yankees to still be competitive next year they have to make up for those win shares. This year the Yankees #5 SP's were worth about 2-3 win shares and the back end of there bullpen was worth about 1-2 win shares. This is where I think the Yankees would have to aim to improve. Lets say they traded A-Rod to the Angels and got Ervin Santana, Scot Shields and a prospect. That means next year Santana and Shields would effectively replace Corey Lidle (RIP) and the back of the Yankees bullpen. Shield was worth 11 WS, Santana was worth 13. That means they were worth between 18-20 win shares more than the Yankees current option.

Here lies the issue with trading A-Rod, getting equal value. Getting Ervin Santana and Shields would represent a significant bounty for A-Rod. Teams know he has issues and will probably not want to deal their top guys for A-Rod. This is my biggest issue with the idea. I am not against trading anyone if it will make the Yankees better, but it just doesnt seem like trading A-Rod can make this team better.

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