Exclusive: Yanks, Marlins Talk A-Rod Trade (Confirmed)

Updated 10:45 PM EDT: ESPN New York’s Wallace Matthews has the moving parts of the Jeffrey Loria/Randy Levine conversations that kicked off the trade talk between the Marlins and Yankees about Alex Rodriguez.

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.”

Included in there is the bombshell detail that explains the unfortunate Brian Cashman’s denial this afternoon. He might be the Senior Vice President/General Manager of the Yankees, but he doesn’t make all the deals and some of them they don’t even give him a much of a heads-up on.

Updated 4:04 PM EDT: Yankees’ Senior Vice President Brian Cashman has denied to MLB.Com’s Yankees’ beat reporter Bryan Hoch that there have been any A-Rod trade talks with the Marlins.


Cash – whom I like – is, say, incorrect.

I’d also like to point out that the last time Brian Cashman denied something involving me, it was to tell me and a crowd of reporters that my tweet showing Rodriguez receiving post-pitch detail signals from the stands on Opening Day in 2011 was not an issue for the ballclub and the team was just fine with me and had no problem and everything was just fine. 

Three months later they threw me out as Bob Wolff’s assistant at the P.A. microphone for Old Timers’ Day and leaked it to The New York Post.

UPDATE 4:19 PM EDT: I’d also point out that Cashman may not know about any of this – yet. Not two years ago ownership – by his own admission – essentially signed a free agent without telling him. Cashman said the other 29 GMs would have loved to have “their owner force Rafael Soriano down their throat.”

Original Post: 

The New York Yankees have held discussions with the Miami Marlins about a trade involving their third baseman in crisis, Alex Rodriguez.

Sources close to both organizations confirm the Yankees would pay all – or virtually all – of the $114,000,000 Rodriguez is owed in a contract that runs through the rest of this season and the next five. One alternative scenario has also been discussed in which the Yankees would pay less of Rodriguez’s salary, but would obtain the  troubled Marlins’ reliever Heath Bell and pay what remains of the three-year, $27,000,000 deal Bell signed last winter.

None of the sources could give an indication as to how serious the discussions have already gotten, but one of them close to the Marlins’ ownership said he believed the trade made sense for both sides, and would eventually be made in some form.

Not only are the Yankees one loss away from elimination in the American League Championship Series (and as of this writing, one loss away from an ignominious sweep), but in the post-season Rodriguez is just 3-for-23 with twelve strikeouts, has been pinch-hit for twice, and was left out of one of the Division Series games against Baltimore entirely. He last homered on September 14, and has only one extra base-hit and six RBI in the 24 games since that date.

Rodriguez has become a Gordian Knot for the Yankees. As the roster grows old and the farm system is in a fallow period for position players, the Steinbrenner family wants to reduce payroll, not increase it. And while the precise salary numbers are not known, Rodriguez is scheduled to earn approximately $28 million next year, $23 million in 2014, $22 million in 2015, $21 million in 2016, and $20 million in 2017 – when he will be 42 years old. His physical fragility and declining power now make him just slightly less valuable than the average American League third baseman (by one calculation, Rodriguez’s WAR number – “wins above replacement player” – was 2.0, seventeenth best among Major League third basemen, just behind obscure rookie Luis Cruz of the Dodgers).

Nevertheless, paying Rodriguez $114 million not to play for them would seem to be against the new – cheaper – thinking at Yankee Stadium.

But to a Marlins’ franchise facing financial calamity after the failure of its combination of splashy free agent signings, a high-profile new manager, and a brand new downtown stadium, a “free” Alex Rodriguez has serious upside. He grew up in the community, owns an incredibly high-priced home there that he has been unable to move, and might be refreshed by both the release from the New York cauldron, and a possible move from third base to first base with his new club. Such a position change would be blocked in New York by the presence of first baseman Mark Teixeira and the club’s self-perceived need to rotate the aging Yankee regulars in the Designated Hitter spot.

The degree to which the cauldron was heating up was underscored by a dubious story in Tuesday’s New York Post, which claimed Rodriguez was trying to get the phone numbers of two women seated behind the Yankee dugout during Saturday’s American League Championship Series opener by utilizing the age-old athlete trick of having autographed baseballs delivered to them.

This followed last week’s episode in which tv game show host Donald Trump – tweeting last Wednesday from a team-provided freebie seat in a Yankee Stadium suite – also heated up the cauldron by resuming his online attacks on Rodriguez. Trump invoked Rodriguez’s admission of steroid use during his time with the Texas Rangers by using the more generic and damning word “drugs,” and admitted he had a personal animus towards Rodriguez dating back to what had also tweeted were “dishonorable dealings with me on an apartment deal.”

Trump was sitting in the team suite at Yankee Stadium – on the ballclub’s dime as usual – when he tweeted this:

But the “drugs” tweet was only the culmination of a day of off-and-on attacks on Rodriguez by Trump.

Before the same game:

For more than a year the club has been aggressively retaliatory towards those – like Trump – who have invoked Rodriguez’s admission of steroid use, and others who have been critical of him in any other way. Over the past summer the team suspended team Advisor and Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson for questioning what impact Rodriguez’s confession would have on the legitimacy of his career statistics. Later in the season, a Yankees’ media relations staffer bypassed a new formal appeal procedure and was heard shouting at an official scorer who had given an error to an opposing player rather than a base hit to Rodriguez. Yankees’ media relations director Jason Zillo was described in a 2011 book as being “close” to Rodriguez. In the same book Rodriguez called Zillo a “friend.” In 2011, Zillo and the Yankees had similarly tried to squelch stories about the seeming deterioration of the play of Derek Jeter.

Trump’s call for the Yankees to “terminate” Rodriguez’s contract for “misrepresentation” is not a practical solution in a time with a strong players’ union, and given the fact that in the off-season of 2007-08 the Yankees happily kept Rodriguez from leaving for free agency by giving him a new ten-year contract that ensured that his pursuit of the career home run record would come while wearing their uniform. More over, the confession came in February, 2009, and if any claim to void the contract could ever have been made, it would have been then, and not now.

The Yankees presumably are not happy with Trump’s tweets. But they are less so with Rodriguez’s vanishing adequacy. And if the Marlins provide an escape hatch – even an escape hatch costing them either $96,000,000 (if they were to swap Rodriguez for Bell) or $114,000,000 (if they just give him away, or obtain low-cost players or prospects in return for him) – the Yankees are prepared to ignore the business consequences to offload a formerly great player who with each week seems to turn into simply a more and more painful headache.


  1. Steve

    As Mr. Trump knows so much about baseball, I think he should lobby for Cashman’s job. I think he is looking in the wrong place for the cause of Alex’s poor play, though. I don’t think it’s drugs, but because he wasn’t really born in this country. If he can find Alex’s long-form birth certificate, THEN the Yankees could terminate his contract. They’d then have no choice but to instantly fire Cashman, hire Trump, and sit back and watch as his business and baseball acumen results in twelve straight championships.

    • Chris

      I am not sure what you mean by this post, but it seems that you may be suggesting that A-Rod is actually older than what he and everyone else is saying he is.
      Besides this point above (which a lot of international players are accused of doing), A-Rod WAS BORN IN NEW YORK CITY, so I have no idea what you mean by this: “I don’t think it’s drugs, but because he wasn’t really born in this country. If he can find Alex’s long-form birth certificate, THEN the Yankees could terminate his contract.”
      You sound VERY ignorant and slightly racist, at best, Steve. Check your facts and understand who you are talking about FIRST!
      (and if you were going to use the excuse, ‘but he played for the Dominican Republic in the World Championships’…it’s because both of his parents are Dominican, and therefore he was granted Dominican citizenship)

  2. Diane

    One factor not discussed here is A-Rod’s 10 and 5 rights. He can shoot down any trade, and given how much he loves wearing the Pinstripes, I doubt he’d approve the trade, even if it WAS to his hometown. Accepting the trade might be seen by some as A-Rod admitting “failure to perform” in NY, which the fragile Rodriguez would not want to risk.

  3. Pingback: Exclusive: Yanks, Marlins Talk A-Rod Trade | Baseball Nerd « JC's Constructive Criticism
  4. Real Yankee Fan

    To blame everything on A-Rod is an attempt to shield Girardi, who should get most of the blame. This is an homer-or-nothing, aging team of superstars who have had bad numbers all year. They score half their runs on the home run, and are terrible in certain hitting situations. Girardi is totally reactive, and he’s jumping on the bandwagon of bashing A-Rod. Didn’t the Yankees know A-Rod would get old when they signed him thru age 42? Jeez… The Boss is gone, but the stupidity live.

  5. Pingback: Olbermann: Yanks & Marlins Discussing A-Rod Trade | WasWatching.com
  6. Dominick

    This don’t even sound right. I agree with most on here, Yankees inability to hit is bigger than A Rod. This is not the 1st time they embarrassed themselves in the post season. But as with most media talking heads it goes back to his contract. Giradi, no Tony LaRussa by any stretch, should have seen this coming with whole team. You watched us play HR or bust all season, leave RISP constantly, now want to tinker with lineup? How about we trade him to Marlins, from players to be named later.

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  14. Barry Sinrod

    As a Brooklyn Dodger fan,living in Fl.4
    Over 20yrs. I can say that The Marlin Franchise is a blight on MLB.The owners have
    Proved to b failures for going on 30 yrs. 1st
    W Expos. They r not capable of owning a Dairy Queen. They ignored reason&built new stadium in worst possible county. All of the$&young families are in P Beach county.
    It is 60+ miles fr Dade where stadium is built.
    Keith,if u look at every player2 wear a Marlin uniform since they first played in 1993?
    You will find many many potential and HOF ers who were traded as soon as they cost more than $1mill. Start w Trevor Hoffman&
    On and on Triple crown winner Cabrera.

    Someone in MLB will force AROD to Miami, his home bcuz the ownership r morons.

    I’ll bet that the Marlins will b gone from the state in the future. They cannot draw audiences from Dade County. Broward and
    PB county R the northern most counties that have $ Dolphin stadium and those who would
    Support team. They can never compete by
    Holding onto good players. Hanley Ramirez traded, total BS.

    I wish it were 1952 again. Brooklyn 32,000
    Making lots of $. Now 55 years since Dodgers left, they build Barclay center just where the Dodgers wanted new stadium.

    AROD is hall of famer, Trump is a dumb asshole who shots off his mouth. Don’t blame
    AROD blame the bottomless pit of $ fr Yankees the reason so many hate them. They
    Buy the winners so many times. They gave him ridiculous 2nd 10 yr contract and I hope he gets every penny.

  15. Pingback: Yankees and Marlins Reportedly Discussing Alex Rodriguez Trade | :: Sparxxrx LLC ::
  16. mary_caruso

    The decline was a long time coming when you first noticed the ball guy behind home plate shooting signals to the players concerning pitches and it ended up in the NY Daily News and MLB had to decide what to do about it.
    The thought I had is that A-Rod is just a glimpse at the declining Yankees, maybe even the indicator light on their dashboard, to wake up and sense that there is something definitely declining in the dugout. I’ve watched these games, always stunned at the lack of hits aside from Ibanez, who did the unbelievable feat of 2 homers at the most dire of times. But really Girardi cannot put all the water carrying on Ibanez when the other players are not producing. I don’t know the stats but how many players were left on base throughout this season? And how many times do I have to see Jeter hit into a double-play when someone is on first? It may be time to shake up the team but I don’t think rearranging the roster is going to do it. They may have to trade A-rod which leads to my second thought.
    I think the problem is the no-trade clause in his contract. By definition “these no-trade clauses are limited, where a club may be limited to trading the athlete only at certain times, or only to a certain team or geographical area“.(Wiki) Just by arrogance I believe he would stay or insist on staying with the Yankees even though he is not doing them any favors. Maybe he hopes to get better next season.
    So what would be the solution? Quite a quandary, but the first I suggest is Girardi change his tune towards his players and stop pampering them. Also he should learn how to coach a little more efficiently unless he knows he does not have the personnel to do as much as he needs to get the job done. Yard sale for sure!

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  18. crystomint (@crystomint)

    You think Cashman’s going to fess up and spoil the upcoming blockbuster A-Rod for Bell trade? He’s not stupid enough to do so. Hell, even Loria’s dumbass stepson knows that you have to deny everything until it’s official.

  19. Joe Pl

    Arod’s 10 year contract was executed in late 2007, or perhaps early 2008. The New York Yankees Partnership is organized under the laws of the State of NY.

    The following comment assumes the Arod 10 year contract were made under and in accordance to NY’s state laws.

    I’m surprised that Mr. Trump did not realize that the statute of limitations regarding fraud (misrepresentation of a material fact) have in fact, expired.

    The State of New York has a 2 year window in filing a civil action “attempting to void a written contract based on fraud, commencing with the date when the prospective Plaintiff became aware of the fraud.

    From what is publicly available, the latest date that the Yankees could claim when they became aware of the fraud would Feb. or March 2009. That is the date Arod publicly announced his drug use. This confirms that the Yankees had no knowledge of Arod’s drug use while negotiating his contract shortly after Arod’s exercising the “opt out” clause of his contract during the 2007 World Series.

    Basically the Yankees “ran out of time” to sue Arod for fraud. The suit would have to have been filed with 2 years of Arod’s own admission of drug use (assuming that is the time when the Yankees first became aware of Arod’s drug use).

    In essence, any claim of action on behalf of fraud based upon Arod’s misrepresentation would have to have been filed no later than 2 years after the press conference by Arod, admitting to his drug use.

    HOWEVER, if Arod’s contract was signed under the laws of FL, it is a total different set of rules.

    I believe the Yankees would have up to 4 years to file from the date of their knowledge of the fraud.

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  22. pc

    trump, what can you say about him, fool comes to mind especially every time he opens his mouth, all trumps celebrity comes not from his business acumen but his ability to make a fool out of himself, america does need to be entertained and he certainly does that although being taken seriously isn’t in the equation.

  23. Pingback: SPiZaD » Alex Rodriguez trade rumors: Yankees deny any talks with Marlins
  24. Kurt Eckhardt

    Marlins Stadium is far from a home-run hitters paradise. A-Rod still has a shot at Bonds but it’ll demand 30hrs a year. Given that he has veto power, (and I’m SURE the Yankees want him out) I’d guess he’ll opt for a more hitter friendly home than Miami.

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  31. william

    Someone explain to me why the Yankees would PAY all the money but give him up to the Marlins, where he MIGHT do some damage; rather than keeping him on the bench, if they have to pay the money ANYWAY.
    Seriously. I don’t get it.

  32. Barb Chamberlin

    This is not true. It was something that was jokingly discussed before the season. The Marlins do not need an old, lazy, selfish, steroid using first baseman.

  33. Pingback: Miami Marlins: Why Would They Want Alex Rodriguez from the Yankees? | :: Sparxxrx LLC ::
  34. Casey's Boy

    The women are hotter in Miami as well as being more receptive to A-Rod’s particular type of macho charm. Plus, nobody cares what happens there anymore since Cuba now allows anyone (who is not important) to leave and come to the BIg Island. So Alex, waive your 10 and 5, open your own club and enjoy your millions and all the chocha.

  35. WL Garguilo

    Why would anyone give what this Communist SLOberman credence for anything he has to say? Fired from everywhere he’s worked he needs to fade back into obscurity and irrelevance where he’s always been.

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  38. Dickey Boy

    I beg your pardon Yankee Fan but the rest of the MLB Fan universe can’t understand why NY’ers rag on ARod so much when it was Cashman & old George who offered him the 10 year, no trade, outrageously expensive deal at age 32 in the first place.

    Roids or no Roids, the rest of MLB Fan base thought in 2008 as now that it was too risky. Obviously, their criticisms back then have come to fruition. Lastly, pinning the blame for the weak offense on ARod is as valid an argument as saying the Yankees ban on facial hair has negatively affected the psyche of their players. GMAB Yankee Fan your entire team is too old and tired not only ARod.

  39. SamYanksGiantsMets

    Trump is a typical Republican a hole. But I hope Alex is traded. Time to end this soap opera. I’ll just root for him on the Marlins. Yankee fans forget that A-Rod was the hero of 2009 and he was a 30/100 guy every year until last year. Girardi– put A-Rod and Grandy back in the lineup!

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  47. =D

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  54. MIchael marshall

    A rod to the Marlins, how low can it go. I really don’t feel any ptiy for A rod. He should have stay inh Seattle and not gone for the stupid fat contract. He would have been a star in the Seattle for just as long but he got greedy and know he paying for it. He should retire before this trade goes through,

  55. richard motta

    a rod is one of only 8 players in the history of baseball to hit 600 plus home runs he is getting on with age but in the reg season he is a big plus to the line up he sells tickets and i would love for him to retire as a yankee and go into the hall of fame with the yanks hat on, none of the players did well come on who hit the ball no one look at mantle he drank and chased women all over town just like the babe he will snap back just get off his back cause you dont know what you have until its not there no more to trade a rod will come back to bite the team in the ass a few more years and he will retire.

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  60. moon56555

    a rod is one of only 8 players in the history of baseball to hit 600 plus home runs he is getting on with age but in the reg season he is a big plus to the line up he sells tickets and i would love for him to retire as a yankee and go into the hall of fame with the yanks hat on,phd research proposal

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