Could A-Rod Save the O’s?

Update:  Beat writer Jeff Zrebiec reports that yesterday Miguel Tejada told O’s President of Baseball Operations Andy McPhail, "I don’t care about changing positions if we’re going to be a winner, and I want to be on a team that is going to compete and win."  That is a change of tune from the once stubborn shortstop.  Orioles Manager Dave Trembley also said, "I fully expect that he’ll be a major part of this team next season."

The Orioles pitchers have been going the extra mile to make Alex Rodriguez feel at home in Camden Yards this weekend, writes Peter Schmuck.  Schmuck doesn’t add too much to the notion; however, he does suggest that, for a team at the mercy of indecision – do we sign big names or rebuild from within? – Alex Rodriguez, should he opt out of his contract, is one apparent solution.

The O’s need desperately to revive their franchise and A-Rod could certainly do that.  A new long term contract for Arod will have him chasing baseball’s greatest records with whom he signs.  Meanwhile, Miguel Tejada will either be moved to 3B or another team.  Considering his decline in defense, productivity, and attitude it seems the Orioles should lower their demands and trade him this offseason.  That would open up an obvious hole at shortstop, a spot once celebrated by Cal Ripken, and an opportunity that could entice Rodriguez and save the Orioles.

That said, I’m not sure the O’s could afford a potential $30MM player.  They have a total payroll of $93.5MM in 2007, already up 20% from 2006, and at an all-time high.  If they deal Tejada, it’s probable they swallow some of his $13MM/year.  The departure of Benson and Wright free up another $14MM.  If they could void Jay Gibbons‘ contract, they’d be looking in the ballpark of $30MM before arbitration for Erik Bedard and others, various departures, etc.  It seems probable they would have to again increase payroll to afford A-Rod.

Posted by: Nat Boyle

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