There are lots of us who believe that we know enough to be general manager of a major sports team for a day. I mean, that’s the premise that all fantasy sports are based on. Some of us take it to even greater levels where we both try to predict trades before they happen and try to come up with the best trades for our team. I am no different and my brother (T. Guru, Esq.) is probably the most proficient person I’ve ever seen at coming up with them. Basically you start with Bill Simmons and his love of the trade machine for the NBA and then multiply it by 2 other sports and that’s the Guru. I’m convinced that his bouncing of trade ideas off me has sensitized me to look for other deals that should happen and I hit on one that I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t happen (the horrific double-negative was inserted for effect and not as an affront to grammar lovers everywhere). It’s truly rare to have a situation that is an absolute win-win when it comes to trades of professional athletes that have already made the big time, but this is it. If there are progressive thinkers in two major cities then we should get to see the following headline:
Yankees Trade Alex Rodriguez to Miami for Hanley Ramirez
Why the Yankees should do it:
1. It’s the Fountain of Youth. It is no secret that this team is getting older. This would be an addition of youth and someone that could be paired up the middle with Robinson Cano for years. It also adds more speed to the lineup which would only make them more dangerous.
2. It saves money. While we all think that the Yankees have unlimited resources, the reality is that they haven’t been a player in this offseason for the reason of money. The trade will free up between 10-15 million dollars a year for the next 3 years, and then possibly more contingent upon getting an extension from Hanley. I’m pretty sure the pitching staff could use that money.
3. It makes a move of Jeter much more honorable. The truth is that the Yankees are dying to be able to move Derek Jeter away from shortstop. The issue is that an icon’s pride can’t handle having to move due to diminished capacity. This trade makes it much easier. Jeter can volunteer to make a place for the younger Ramirez and move over to the now open position of 3B. It becomes much more about accommodating a great athlete than moving an old one. It helps everyone save face.
4. For all of the concerns about Hanley being a malcontent, I simply don’t see a way that he doesn’t fall in line with The Yankee Way when he’s surrounded by the guys in that locker room.
Why the Marlins Should do it
1. Bring the favorite son home. The Marlins have rebranded themselves this offseason as the Miami Marlins. They want to create a new identity as they also open their new home field. Who could be better for that than Alex Rodriguez? He is the favorite son of Miami. He still loves the University and spends time and money there. His jersey sales would be through the roof. Ticket sales would go even higher. He IS the Miami brand.
2. His contract is actually good. First, if the Marlins were willing to do what they have already done (Buehrle, Bell, Reyes) and still go after Wilson and Pujols then A-Rod’s contract wouldn’t be unheard of. And on the plus side, it also goes down each year for the next 5. So while he will likely diminish, as will the luster on the stadium, his contract gets less painful. It is also shorter than what they would have committed to for Pujols by half. That makes a fire-sale in 5 years very possible (if they were to hold to previous habits) without this causing any issues.
3. You get a gruntled Third Baseman. Hanley has flip-flopped like a politician on his willingness to play third base. He also caused some locker room headaches in years past. You get to ship that out and bring in a gold-glove third baseman who would be perfectly happy to line up each day with Jose Reyes to his left.
4. Milestones mean Ticket Sales. Alex has many more milestones to accomplish in his career and each of those will help keep a steady flow of fans into the brand new stadium.
Why Alex should Approve it
1. The truth is that he has exorcised his post-season demons and won a ring in New York. That hole in his legacy is gone.
2. He would get to hear his name cheered every day for the rest of his career instead of dependent on his performance.
3. Spring and Fall in New York weather vs. Spring and Fall in South Florida.
4. The celebrity cache of Miami continues to grow and that will satisfy that part of his personality.
I really am not arrogant enough to believe that I could step in and be a great baseball GM right away, but there is one thing I believe and that’s that this is the best idea I have seen for a trade in years. It benefits absolutely everyone involved. Which is why I’m sure it just won’t happen…