Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com report that the Yankees and Marlins have discussed a possible Alex Rodriguez trade.
It was first reported by Keith Olbermann on his MLB.com "Nerd Blog," and now Matthews and Marchand have confirmed that conversations have indeed taken place between Yankees president Randy Levine and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. They describe the initial discussions as "casual," but with the possibility of becoming serious this offseason. The Yankees would obviously have to eat a ton of the $114 million still owed to A-Rod to get a deal done, and Rodriguez has a no-trade clause. But, the third baseman is from Miami and has obviously fallen out of favor in New York. Matthews and Marchand mention the possibility of the Marlins unloading Heath Bell's contract onto the Yanks. Nothing is remotely close to happening anytime soon, but it's something to monitor over the winter.
Earlier today, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman shot down a report from Keith Olbermann which indicated that the club has talked with the Marlins about a possible trade involving Alex Rodriguez. However, Yankees president Randy Levine and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria have in fact had a casual conversation about relocating the embattled third baseman to Miami, a source tells Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com.
It should be noted that the conversation first began in a "joking" fashion according to the report, which would indicate that any talks between the two sides are in an embryonic stage. However, the source believes that the chat could develop into serious trade talks this winter. Loria reportedly said, "Alex is Mr. Miami, it would be great if he played here for us." The Yankees president then responded, "You can have him."
A second source with knowledge of A-Rod's thinking said Miami is likely the only place that he would accept a trade to. For his part, Levine refused to comment on the conversation with Loria in an interview with ESPN New York's Ian O'Connor and declined to speculate on Rodriguez's future with the Yanks beyond this year. Rodriguez is owed $114MM over the next five years, not including potential bonuses for home run milestones.
It would not be unprecedented for Yankees brass to conduct business with limited involvement from Cashman. Two years ago, the club brokered a substantial deal for reliever Rafael Soriano despite the GM's objections.
What began as a casual, joking conversation between New York Yankees president Randy Levine and Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria about the possibility of Alex Rodriguez playing for the Marlins may develop into serious trade talks this offseason, according to a source with knowledge of the conversation.
According to the source, Levine and Loria discussed the possibility of A-Rod playing in Miami, his hometown, but characterized it as a joke between old friends.
The conversation between the Yankees and Marlins initially was reported by Keith Olbermann on his MLB.com "Nerd Blog." Variety also reported the news.
However, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he has had no trade talks regarding Rodriguez with anyone and described the first report as "false."
"I have had no discussions whatsoever with the (Miami) Marlins," Cashman said. "Certainly would never have any trade discussions under the circumstances. I certainly have not had any discussions with any GMs other than the pregame meetings with Dan Duquette with the Orioles, with the umpires and then with Dave Dombrowski (of the Tigers). But I've had no trade discussions, so false. One hundred percent false."
According to the source, Loria said in his conversation about A-Rod with Levine, "Alex is Mr. Miami; it would be great if he played here for us."
To which Levine is said to have replied, "You can have him."
A second source with knowledge of Rodriguez's thinking said the likely only place Rodriguez eventually would accept a trade to is Miami. Rodriguez has five years and $114 million remaining on his contract, not including milestone home run bonuses.
"I love the Yankees. I love this organization," Rodriguez said. "My focus right now is to help this team come together and win a game. Do not allow all this negativity and questions and gossip stuff or this crap or that crap, let's just focus on winning a game and go from there ... What I will tell you is I hope nothing is going on like that at this point because our only focus, from top to bottom, is to win a baseball game right now."
Levine refused to directly comment on the conversation with Loria or what it would take to trade Rodriguez.
Appearing Sunday on Ian O'Connor's show on ESPN New York 98.7 FM, Levine told O'Connor the following regarding A-Rod's future as a Yankee:
"That's like one of those questions: Where's the stock market going to be in 2017? Who's going to be president on Nov. 15?. If I had a crystal ball to predict all of that stuff, I'd be a lot smarter than I am. I'm not going to go there."
Rodriguez has been marginalized in the Yankees' lineup this postseason. He entered Wednesday night 3 for 23, including 0 for 18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handers, and repeatedly has been benched and pinch hit for in the playoffs.
He was not in the starting lineup for Game 4 of the AL Championship Series on Wednesday night before it was postponed because of the threat of rain.
"For all our fan base: Let's root for Alex, the contract is what it is, and he's there, and we hope he gets hot," Levine told O'Connor. "It's part of what we deal with all the time, just like any other contract."
It isn't unprecedented for Levine, along with ownership, to lead a deal. Two winters ago, the Yankees signed Rafael Soriano after Cashman had ruled out the possibility. Levine, with the backing of owner Hal Steinbrenner, brokered a deal for the right-hander.
The question that still needs to be answered is how much of the contract the Yankees would be willing to eat. The Marlins may want the Yankees to take reliever Heath Bell, who is owed $18 million over the next two years, plus has a team option for $9 million for 2015. He could have some use for the Yankees because Soriano may opt out of his contract after this season.
Bell could provide insurance for Mariano Rivera's return as the team's closer. If Rivera is fine, Bell could team with David Robertson to set up Rivera.
something to keep an eye on.
I would think the Yankees would have to pick up an awful large part of that contract, but maybe the Yankees can afford to do that since at least in the playoffs now ARod has been brutal.
no idea what type of talent the Yankees could get back in a trade.
do you think the Yankees should do this?
do you actually see this happening?
how do you think ARod could/should do in Miami? he is only 115 HR behind the all time HR record holder Bary Bonds with 762. he has 5 years left on his current contract. he would need to average 23 HR in each of the next 5 seasons just to tie Bonds. health would be a factor. because of injuries he has missed time in each of the last 2 seasons and has only had 18 HR this season and 16 HR last season.