In a fairly routine article ranking the best free agent starters this year, ESPN baseball writer Jeremy Crasnick casually mentions the possibility of your San Francisco Giants acquiring the often-maligned, usually-sensational third baseman of the New York Yankees: the one and only Alex Rodriguez:
Zito is topping out in the 85-86 mph range and pitching to contact, not necessarily a good thing on an aging team with defensive issues in the outfield. Let’s put it this way: When National League hitters envision a Giants pitcher with shutdown stuff, Matt Cain is a lot more likely than Zito to flash before their eyes.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Giants do if Alex Rodriguez exercises his opt-out clause this winter. Are they ready to part ways with Barry Bonds and spend $40 million to $45 million a year on a starting pitcher and All-Star third baseman? Check back in November.
It’s no secret that A-Rod has had some rough moments in the harsh glare of the New York spotlights and will, in all likelihood, test the free agency waters this offseason, but this is the first we’ve heard of an A-Rod to the Giants deal. It’s (entirely) speculation at this point, but do you think, if given the opportunity, the Giants should shell out the big bucks for Rodriguez? He’s probably the best player in the game, and the kind fans of San Francisco would presumably embrace New York’s favorite whipping boy. It would usher in a new, post-Bonds era of Giants baseball. On the other hand, as Crasnick points out, that’s an awful lot of money for two players not named Kobe or Shaq.
Starting 9 … for free agent starters [ESPN, #5]