It’s still very uncertain where Alex Rodriguez ends up playing next year, but I’ve decided to keep a LairdNYC ranking as to where I think he might end up. Right now I have 10 teams that I think will be in discussions and I’ve ranked them based on my perception of their chances:
1. New York Yankees
They have the money, the exposure, the money and the money to keep him in New York for the rest of his career.
2. New England Red Socks
They have the money as well and a gaping whole at third if they let Mike Lowell go. Plus, it would hurt the Yankees, which is much more important than helping their own team.
3. Detroit Tigers
They’ve signed three other Boras clients in the last couple of years (Magglio Ordonez, Ivan Rodriguez, Kenny Rogers), they have the money to spend on A-Rod and they can finally find a good replacement at shortstop for when Carlos Guillen moves to first base full time.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers
They are very young and need to get a real veteran presence in the clubhouse because Jeff Kent is just ruining some of those young guys. With one of the biggest payrolls in baseball, they could be players.
5. San Francisco Giants
I think the Giants are a big wild card here as they look for a post-Bonds identity. They save a ton of money by letting Bonds go, so why not go after the guy who will break all of his records? It might be a slap in the face to Bonds, but if he is caught guilty of purposely cheating, it could be a bit of vindication for the ball club.
6. Los Angeles, California Angels of Anaheim, California
They absolutely need another power bat to put around Vladimir Guerrero, but I just don’t think that they can justify paying A-Rod $30 million a year when they pay Vlad less than half that amount.
7. Chicago Cubs
A-Rod once referred to Lou Pinella as a second father to him, so you’d have to think that plays into the equation. Then again, we all know it’s really only about the money and the Cubs sure spent a lot of it already keeping Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Zambrano and bringing in Alfonso Soriano.
8. Seattle Mariners
They could use a big bat in the lineup and they aren’t exactly trying to play on the cheap. Richie Sexson becomes a free agent after next season, so his salary could pay for half of what it would take to get A-Rod.
9. Philadelphia Phillies
Pat Burrell, Jim Thome, Jamie Moyer, Jon Lieber, Tom Gordon, Aaron Rowand and Freddy Garcia all are now officially off the payroll or will be by the end of next season. Signing A-Rod and surrounding him with some cheap options could certainly work. Then again, it’s Philly.
10. Chicago White Sox
They have some money freeing up in the next year, so it’s not completely out of the realm. The White Sox cannot be comfortable with Juan Uribe and Joe Crede at shortsop and third base, respectively, for the next 5-10 years when they can plug A-Rod into either one of those spots.