Alex Rodriguez hit his 696th career home run on Monday night. How many more will he have a chance to hit as a Yankee?
A-Rod’s first 10 year contract, signed with the Rangers in 2001, included an opt-out clause after the seventh year, which Rodriguez exercised. However, the original contract was very much a success. He averaged 159 games per season, 47 home runs, 130 RBI and a .304 batting average. Truly ridiculous and all-time great numbers.
Alex’s second mega-deal has been far less successful.
Rodriguez has one year remaining on his preposterous and absurd 10 year, $275 million contract that he signed after his MVP season of 2007. While he was an enormous factor in leading the team to the 2009 World Series, the contract has ultimately been very hit-or-miss, much like A-Rod’s recent at-bats.
He has eclipsed 30 home runs four times (2007, 2009, 2010, and 2015) but has also been limited to less than 100 games three times (2011, 2013, 2014 – suspended) and has played in just 55 games – all of them at DH – in 2016. With 70 games remaining, Rodriguez will likely fail to reach the 100 games mark again in 2016 if his diminished role continues.
With his role reduced, and just one year at 21 million dollars remaining, A-Rod could soon become a casualty of the Yankee re-build. While he will almost certainly be given the chance to chase 700 home runs this season, he simply is not productive or versatile enough to be useful to the team in 2017. If A-Rod continues to perform below replacement level, the team would be better off cutting ties with him, eating the $21 million, and plugging in a minor leaguer who might over perform his salary.