Talking Baseball

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Posted by Jon on Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Sixteen-Million Dollar Man

Is anybody else getting sick of being constantly reminded of the seemingly minimal sum of money that prevented Theo Epstein from bringing A-Rod to Boston? Yes, it was a huge disappointment for Boston fans, but lest we forget the Red Sox would have lost the best hitter in the American League and the best right-handed hitter in baseball if A-Rod had joined the Beantown Nine.

It would have been A-Rod for Manny Ramirez. Then we would have traded Nomar to fill the void left in the outfield, presumably for Magglio Ordonez. Both Nomar and Ordonez were lost due to injuries and, when they played, were not up to par. So let's look at the 2004 numbers for the two known commodities in the proposed deal:

Ramirez: .308/.397/.613 43 HR, 44 Doubles
Rodriguez: .286/.375/.512 36 HR, 24 Doubles

Yes, A-Rod is the better overall player because defensively, he's much better than Manny in the field. But with Cabrera's Gold Glove neatly nestled between Belhorn and Mueller in the Red Sox infield, there's no way the Red Sox can retrospectively question the lack of a deal based on this year's performances.

Manny had the better year and is more dominant at the plate that A-Rod. It's true that A-Rod is the better overall player and that Manny is a good four years older than Rodriguez, but these arguments can only be used to explain why the Red Sox would be better off with A-Rod in the future. The only possible argument that can be made by those who continue to harp on this issue is that the Yankees are better with A-Rod than they were with Soriano. This is true.

But for this season, Manny was the better hitter. So no more 'he could've been theirs for $16 mil' quotes, guys. You're forgetting who the Sox would have lost.

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