Remember all those hypothetical articles about “what happens if Aaron Boone never blows out his knee in 2004”?
I don’t know why, but I started thinking about all of the original “A-Rod trade hoopla” and I thought of a more interesting hypothetical (at least I think): What if the Rangers and Red Sox had finished off their Manny Ramirez – A-Rod swap? If you’re a Red Sox fan, would you want it?
Almost every Red Sox fan would probably scream no, followed by “wicked” something or another that I can’t understand because Boston accents are to the English language what fire is to a book. But anyways, if that deal had gone through, A-Rod and Magglio Ordonez would have been in Boston and Manny and Nomar would have been in Texas and Chicago, respectively.
And sure, you can argue that the Sox have won 2 out of 4 and the way they did it in 2004 was so memorable, blah blah blah. And making that trade probably wouldn’t have made them that much better in 2004. But after that? Oh my. The Red Sox would currently have the two best hitters in baseball in A-Rod and Ordonez. And they wouldn’t be paying Julio Lugo $9 million a year to get on base less than 30% of the time (though they’d obviously be giving Ordonez and A-Rod quite a bit). If we use their current contracts as an estimate, those hypothetical Red Sox would be paying out about $42 million a year to A-Rod and Ordonez. Right now they are paying $29 million for Ramirez and Lugo. Which is a better deal? I’d go with the former.
Can you imagine a 3 – 4 – 5 of A-Rod, Ortiz, and Magglio? Well I can. Which is why I gotta say: thanks Theo, for not stepping up the couple extra million to make it happen.
Sure, with A-Rod the Yanks fell apart in the last game of ’04. But without him, they likely have no lead to squander because the Twins would be playing the Red Sox.