Earlier this month, we took a premature look at how A-Rod’s departure from the Bronx could affect the Mets.
Now that it is reality, what are possible repercussions of A-Rod’s decision to opt out of his contract? Here are a few scenarios that are (NOT) likely to happen:
1. Mets sign A-Rod
The Wilpons buy into Scott Boras’ “IPN” theory that Alex Rodriguez is worth at least $500M to SNY. That said, renting A-Rod’s services for $320M over the next 10 years is well worth the investment. A-Rod is installed at third base, and David Wright immediately reports to the Gigantes to learn second base. Or, Carlos Delgado is dumped on the Orioles in return for catcher Ramon Hernandez and D-Wright moves to first. Either way, the Mets suddenly have a more potent infield than the Philadelphia Phillies — with or without Mike Lowell.
2. Red Sox sign A-Rod
They also re-sign Lowell, and announce that A-Rod is moving back to shortstop. However, they need to lose some cash — as well as Julio Lugo — and send Manny Ramirez, Lugo, and Craig Hansen to the Mets in a salary dump deal; the Mets give up Lastings Milledge, Mike Pelfrey, and Mike Carp.
3. Orioles sign A-Rod
Once again, owner Peter Angelos decides the best thing for his team is to throw more money at it. Rodriguez is his new shortstop, but he needs to move his old shortstop Miguel Tejada. Miggy, Erik Bedard, Ramon Hernandez, and Jay Gibbons are sent to the Mets in return for Mike Pelfrey, Philip Humber, Lastings Milledge, and Carlos Delgado. Tejada immediately accepts the Mets’ request to move to second base.
4. Angels sign A-Rod
With A-Rod playing either shortstop or third base, there’s suddenly no room for hot prospect Brandon Wood, who has hit 91 HRs in the last three years in the minors. They send him and young catcher Jeff Mathis to the Mets in return for Carlos Gomez and Kevin Mulvey. Wood, a natural shortstop, is given the opportunity to win the second base job, and Mathis will back up Paul LoDuca, who is re-signed to a one-year deal.
5. Dodgers sign A-Rod
Partially to make room in the infield, partially to clear some salary, and partially to dump him before he becomes a free agent at the end of ’08, the Dodgers send Rafael Furcal to the Mets in return for two unknown A-level minor leaguers.
6. Tigers sign A-Rod
The only way Detroit can afford A-Rod is to shed the $61M still owed on the contracts of Gary Sheffield and Jeremy Bonderman. They send Sheff and Bonderman to the Mets for the future Sheff, Lastings Milledge, and the future Bonderman, Mike Pelfrey.
7. White Sox sign A-Rod
The Sox have to clear payroll to sign Rodriguez, and can shed $55M in one fell swoop by sending Javy Vazquez and Jose Contreras to the Mets for Mike Pelfrey and a few nondescript minor leaguers.
8. Cubs sign A-Rod
The Cubs cannot afford both Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano. Soriano is sent to the Mets in return for Lastings Milledge, Mike Pelfrey, and an assortment of unknown A-ballers. Soriano waives his no-trade when the Mets promise to move him back to second base.
9. Rangers sign A-Rod
For the second time in less than ten years, Tom Hicks loses his mind and signs A-Rod to the highest contract in MLB history. However, he now needs to do some long-term salary dumping. He “dumps” Michael Young and Kevin Millwood — along with Gerald Laird — on the Mets for Lastings Milledge, Texan Philip Humber, Ruben Gotay, and Eddie Kunz.
10. Yankees sign A-Rod
By committing $300M to Rodriguez for the next ten years, the Yankees are unable to enter the bidding for Johan Santana at the end of 2008. The Mets easily outbid other suitors and Santana is the Opening Day starter for the first game ever played at Citi Field.
11. Giants sign A-Rod
Barroid Bonds and his $20M salary are off the books, as are the contracts of Omar Vizquel, Ryan Klesko, and Pedro Feliz which means there’s money for Rodriguez. However, they also need another big bat, and send Tyler Walker, Kevin Correia, and Randy Winn to the Mets for Carlos Delgado. The Mets then flip Winn to the Orioles for Ramon Hernandez. On a side note, Shawn Green accepts arbitration and becomes one-half of the Mets’ platoon at first base with free-agent signee Mike Sweeney.