In recent years, whenever a big-name player is on the trade market, there seems to be speculation the Phillies are going to make a push for him. The addition of “the next piece” has been as consistent in the winter in Philadelphia as a quarterback controversy has been for the local football team. In 2012, there is another huge name being talked about as a possible addition, and it’s no surprise the speculation is already a hot topic in the city. Just like years before with Roy Halladay and Jose Reyes, this year’s target is Alex Rodriguez. Who knows what will actually come of it, but it is conceivable the Phillies will make a push to acquire A-Rod from Yankees over the next few months.
The Phillies have two huge offensive needs (the bullpen is a whole different topic). They need to find a professional third baseman they can rely on and a right-handed power bat to put between Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. A-Rod seems to fit both categories, but the one problem is he may not be that reliable anymore. Still, with rumors the Yankees may be willing to pay up to 80 percent of Rodriguez’s remaining salary, it would be in the Phillies best interest to look into a possible deal. If the Yankees do pay that much salary, it would leave the Phillies paying around $5 million a year for A-Rod, who is still considered one of the best third basemen in the game. There is no question his best years are behind him, but he’s better than most options available through free agency.
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Would A-Rod be an upgrade for the Phils? Most likely he will, but by bringing him to Philly, the team is not helping itself get any younger. The age of the team has been a huge complaint in recent years. They have been viewed by many in baseball as “over the hill” or “past their prime.” However, if they can get two more years out of A-Rod at a fairly decent price, it seems like a perfect fit and a way for them to go all-in for the next few years. The bottom line is A-Rod is not the player he was last decade. Since the steroid allegations came out, he has deteriorated to the point that most New Yorkers want him out of the Bronx. They would probably even help him pack his bags and send him on his way to Pennsylvania without much fight. Still, the Yankees are a business, and they would need a top prospect of some sort in return for A-Rod.
He is not the star he once was, but he can be a contributor on a decent team. For now, the Phillies are a decent team when healthy, and it may benefit them to roll the dice on him. If anything, he will always give Philadelphians something to talk about during the hot-stove season.