Mets dodged a bomb by not signing Alex Rodriguez

Alex RodriguezIn 2000, the Mets lost out on what, at the time, looked like a future Hall of Fame player in Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez was coming off a year in which he hit .316 with 41 home runs and 132 RBI’s. The deal the Mets offered Rodriguez would have been around ten years. From 2001-2011, Rodriguez hit around .300 with 440 home runs and just under 1300 RBI’s. He also won three MVP’s, five Silver Slugger Awards, two Gold Glove Awards, and made an All Star Game appearance each year, except for one year. In other words, the Mets seemed to have really screwed up on not signing him… until 2009.

In 2009, reports came out that Rodriguez had used PED’s during his time on the Rangers, the team that outbid the Mets for Rodriguez. This report contradicted an interview Rodriguez had two years prior with 60 Minutes’ Katie Couric in which he was asked “For the record, have you ever used steroids, human growth hormone or any other performance-enhancing substance?” Rodriguez replied with the simple one word answer of “no,” and the world believed him. But when Rodriguez was caught in 2009, he once again came out to the world about his use of human growth hormones, but this time he apologized.

I recently re-watched his 2009 press conference. During the press conference, Rodriguez spent four minutes and 29 seconds reading off a script. He only looked up 33 times, the longest was 1.3 seconds and the second longest was 0.7 seconds. Clearly, Rodriguez was not apologizing from the heart, but he was doing what he thought would make up for everything he had done. In his “apology”, Rodriguez said things such as:

“When I entered the pro’s as a young kid, in the Major Leagues, I was 18 years old, right out of High School. I thought I knew everything, and I clearly didn’t.”

“Like everyone else, I have made mistakes in my life. The only way to handle them is to learn from them, and move forward.”

“One thing I know is for sure… that baseball is a lot bigger than Alex Rodriguez.”

He finished the apology by saying “and to my teammates,” but didn’t complete that sentence. He just smiled and moved around awkwardly for 44 seconds before being asked questions. During the question portion of the press conference, Rodriguez told the media and the world to judge him from not what he has done in his past, but from what he will do in the future and how he will become a better person.

Since that day in 2009, Rodriguez was caught using PED’s once again. He denied the accusations, got suspended for 211 games, went to court to appeal that suspension, was suspended again from the MLB for the entire 2014 season as well as playoffs, and watched as Tony Bosch went on 60 Minutes and admit to injecting PED’s into his body. And during that time, Rodriguez hit just a mere .273 with 101 home runs and 363 RBI’s.

But this is only the beginning of what may still come. Rodriguez is allowed to play during Spring Training, as well as for the remaining three years of his contract when his suspension is served. But the question that now hangs around the once iconic figure is whether or not he will come back, and if he does will he be the same? It would probably be the best thing for Rodriguez if he were to come back. He has the entire year of 2014 to get into the best shape of his life, and it would be quite the slap in the face to the MLB, let alone Bud Selig, if he comes back. Commissioner Selig has already announced his retirement for 2016, and he has definitely put a stamp on his legacy now that Rodriguez is off the table for 2014, and possibly forever. However, if Rodriguez were to come back in 2015, Selig would end up retiring with his biggest nemesis still playing the game.

Just to make matters even worse, Rodriguez announced Monday, January 13, that he will be suing both Major League Baseball, and the MLB Players’ Association as an attempt to overturn the ban. The MLB Players’ Association has been behind Rodriguez since day one of the conviction, but when he threatened to take the case to federal court, they immediately jumped off board, leaving him by himself. Of course, they did defend him late Sunday evening when they announced their frustration with Major League Baseball for letting Tony Bosch go on 60 Minutes and admit to personally injecting Rodriguez with PED’s (and in a bathroom stall of all places), but this was clearly not enough to satisfy the big ego of Rodriguez, so he will still be suing them. There is one benefit to this, however, as it will bring Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association closer together. The two parties have been constantly bickering about new rules such as replay in the MLB, as well as the prohibiting of runners and catchers having a collision at home plate.

So is suing these two parties a good move for Rodriguez? Not according to CNN’s Lateef Mungin and Steve Almasine. On Tuesday, they wrote an article which mentioned the number one flaw in suing the MLB, which is that it will give a chance for more of his doping secrets to be exposed to the public eye. Their idea makes sense, as now Rodriguez will have nobody behind him to defend him other than his own personal lawyers. Therefore, it will give people such as Tony Bosch a chance to talk about more of Rodriguez’ secrets.

On January 11, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports wrote that “Alex Rodriguez’s downfall is one of the saddest baseball stories ever told”**, as player once known as the Greatest Short Stop of All Time has officially gone down in flames. He has now been caught taking PED’s twice, managed to get beneath the skin of the Commissioner of Baseball and fans everywhere, and has thrown away all hopes of being a Hall of Famer. The once innocent 18-year-old phenomenon has officially turned into one of the most hated men in the history of Major League Baseball, and still does not know what he is doing to himself, his family, and the people around him.

Nobody knows what will come of Rodriguez in the next couple years. But one thing is certain… the Mets definitely dodged a bullet by letting the Rangers outbid them for the 25-year-old superstar talent from Washington Heights, New York who grew up not a Mariners fan, not a Rangers fan, not even a Yankees fan… but a New York Mets fan with Keith Hernandez as his idol.

Would it have been worth it to sign Alex Rodriguez?

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39 comments for “Mets dodged a bomb by not signing Alex Rodriguez

  1. Joe Vasile
    January 15, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    I wrote here a while ago a sort of “What if the Mets signed A-Rod?” piece. I think that if they did, they would’ve gotten back to the postseason in 2001, and there are quotes from Steve Phillips saying that the moves made in 2002 were a direct result of being poor offensively in 01. What that means as far as Wright and Reyes, I don’t know, but maybe one of the three of them moves position, or A-Rod would’ve gotten traded at some point anyway, like he did with Texas.

    • Dan Kolton
      January 15, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      My guess would be that Jose Reyes would become a second baseman, and both Wright and A-Rod would stay at their natural positions. This would also help prevent moves such as the Mets signing Luis Castillo, and we all know how that move turned out.

      • KK
        January 16, 2014 at 12:16 pm

        Don’t want to be a Luis Castillo apologist, but it’s amazing to me how people represent the contracts to him and Olliver Perez as the end of the world.

        As a Met, Castillo hit .275 with a .364 OBP and 55 SBs. at $25MM, that would buy you about 2 years of Drew — where you’d get a lower BA and OBP — with a smattering of HRs.

        We know he was a cancer to the clubhouse, and I didn’t object to getting rid of him, but his stats deteriorated as fans called for his removal.

  2. Robby
    January 15, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    There is not one of us who didn’t want the Mets to sign him. I do think he could have made a difference in some of the better years but hind sight is 20-20

  3. Kevin
    January 15, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Article should be titled “Mets dodged bomb by not signing, and then resigning, Alex Rodriguez”

    Looks like he lived up to his initial contract if you go by the data cited by the author…

    “From 2001-2011, Rodriguez hit around .300 with 440 home runs and just under 1300 RBI’s. He also won three MVP’s, five Silver Slugger Awards, two Gold Glove Awards, and made an All Star Game appearance each year, except for one year.”

    I could care less about the 2009 PED drama if the Mets had won a couple titles during the 8 year time period prior to that.

    • Max
      January 16, 2014 at 10:50 am

      Thank you.

  4. Herb
    January 16, 2014 at 12:28 am

    Sadly, I have to say that the Mets missed a huge opportunity by letting Rodriguez slip away. My recollection was that the excuse was he wanted too much special treatment, and they thought it would be demoralizing for the other 24 players. In hindsight, they have subsequently granted special treatment to free agents they wanted to sign. I don’t doubt that the egotistical Rodrigues might have been obnoxious in negotiations, annoying the egotistical Steve Phillips and turning off Fred Wilpon. That said, the front office should have been professional enough to look past the obnoxious behavior and assess Rodriguez, the ballplayer. Perhaps A-rod alone would have not been the difference maker in getting the Mets back to the World Series in his early years with the team (2001-2004) because, like the last few years, the Mets had no outfield. But consider that 2001 infield with (1B) Zeile, (2B) Fonzie, (SS) A-Rod, (3B) Ventura, (C) Piazza.

    By 2005, with Beltran, Cliff Floyd and Mike Cameron in the outfield, Wright, A-Rod, Reyes (at 2B – Kaz Matsui would not have been signed)and Doug Mientkiewicz in the infield, Piazza still producing behind the plate, and a pitching staff headed by Pedro and Glavine, Rodriguez could certainly have been the difference maker in getting the Mets to the World Series for the next 4 years.

    And then, when his 10 year contract ranout, the Mets would not have had the money to resign him, thereby dodging the bullet.

    • Scott
      January 16, 2014 at 11:31 am

      Do you think the Mets would have still signed Beltran, Floyd and Cameron? I have realy doubts that they would have signed Beltran. And what if Valentine still managed or stayed in the front office, would Floyd have signed? So many unknowns.

      • Dan Kolton
        January 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm

        If they had the chance to sign them, I don’t see why not. By adding those three guys to the lineup, they would be pretty much unstoppable. Other players from around the league would be begging to get onto the team whether by trade, or by signing as a free agent. The Mets clearly would have had a greater amount of money than they did if they had signed A-Rod, because talent like that is what fills the seats. Therefore, the Mets would be wrong if they did not jump at an opportunity to get those three superstars.

  5. Jerry Grote
    January 16, 2014 at 7:33 am

    Nice to wonder I guess. My guess is that we would have won at least one more championship, maybe three. The combination in the order of two HOF hitters – not to mention swapping out a “worst” to “best” at SS … it’s boggling.

    But what would have happened if Lee had pressed his advantage in Pennsylvania?

  6. Metstheory22
    January 16, 2014 at 10:04 am

    I would think that if we would have initially sign A-Rod, we would NOT have resigned him when Boras opted out of contract. Reyes either would have played 2nd or been traded away. I would think over 70% of our fanbase would still have signed him to initial contract. Thank goodness he is not our mess right now though.

  7. Ron Davis
    January 16, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Hindsight is twenty twenty who knows what the future would of been with him and how we would of embraced him or he felt towards us. I do not like at the time how we approched him and give up before we even tried to see but i guess Steve Phillips may of knew something we never knew about his issues.

  8. Dave
    January 16, 2014 at 11:30 am

    First of all, the Mets never made ARod a formal offer. So they weren’t “outbid” by the Rangers. They never bid, period.

    Second, any deal they’d have signed him to in 2000 would be long since completed.

    Focusing on 2009 is a bit shortsighted. In 2000 the Mets were coming off a pennant winning season and ARod easily could have pushed them over the top. Instead they dropped to .500 and then into a 3-year abyss before Minaya/Randolph turned the ship around in 2005.

    He’s also from Florida, not Washington Heights – regardless of where he was born.

  9. Sean
    January 16, 2014 at 11:31 am

    So the majority of us would have wanted Alex Rodriguez playing for the Mets for most of the last ten years. Even though he is a serial cheater and serial liar. Even though he himself is narcissistic jackwagon. But hey, the Mets would have won the World Series sometime in the last 10 to 13 years if they’d had him (it’s patently absurd to take that as a given by the way, but whatever). All that matters is winning a World Series. It’s the only that validates your team. Any season that doesn’t end in winning a championship is a wasted season authored by a worthless team. Nothing else but winning a championship matters in baseball and therefore anything means that achieves that end is entirely justified. That’s pretty much what you’re saying if you saying the Mets should have signed Rodriguez because they would have won a championship with him.

    That is also exactly a Yankees’ fan thinks. The same soulless megalomania. It’s vintage Yankees’ fan. And it’s what we’ve become apparently. When we’re not indulging in the nihilistic self-loathing of the pre-2004 Red Sox fan which is also what we’ve become.

    More and more I look at us at Mets’ fan don’t recognize us any more. At least not as we once were. I see what we are now. It disgusts me.

    • zoddie
      January 17, 2014 at 2:08 am

      Is A-Rod an ass? Sure. But the PED stuff? Who cares. Everyone was using. Did you root for Marlon Byrd last year? Guys of every era take stuff to get an edge, whether it was anabolic steroids in the 80s, or amphetamines in the 50s and 60s.

      Just because Bud Selig is trying to rewrite history and change his legacy doesn’t mean I have to care about his after-the-fact crusade.

  10. Ron Davis
    January 16, 2014 at 11:53 am

    i understand but too bad our ownership always seem to suck after Joan Payson died.

  11. Chris F
    January 16, 2014 at 11:54 am

    I never would have wanted A-rod. I’d also trade Puello for being a cheater.

  12. Ron Davis
    January 16, 2014 at 11:57 am

    the problem is if you dig deep into many players past you may get rid of half of the mlb talent pool. Not saying all have but very few real saints.

  13. January 16, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    As I recall, Steve Phillips, the GM of thebMets at the time made the following statement to the press when he rejected ARod’s demands (which he eventually made to the Yanks, successfully)….Phillips said: “I can’t have 1 player under one set of rules, and 24 others under a different set!” Phillips was right on! The amazzing thing to me is How the Yanks could renew his contract, for 10 years, when he was 33 years old, for $275 Million!!!!!! Pure stupidity…..and now they are really paying for that.

  14. Chris F
    January 16, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Hes a known cheater. The system is not perfect. MLB can investigate any serious allegation, and clearly has done so. Once a person is rooted out, then its time to go. A lot of players are asking for much stuffer penalties, like 1 year at 1st infraction…its not cool to dope, and getting less and less over time. The culture is changing.

    Dopers can get away with many things still by micro-dosing and just taking advantage of the odds of not being caught. Detection protocols get better and combine that with “biological passports” the walls are closing in. Add in that admission and invesitgations can lead to non-analyical positives that carry the same penalty and it gets harder.

    I can envision that drug makers will be better at tagging their products so that they leave long-lasting tracers despite metabolism and expelling of the drug and its by-products.

    As much as I can see designer drugs continuing to be an issue, Im beginning to wonder about human-machine hybrids as a future concern. Instead of having TJ surgery like we are used to, why not replace the UCL with titanium wire so that it never fatigues and blows out. It is possible to envision robotic joints being emplaced that cannot wear out, and that are capable of sustaining and delivering much higher forces than bone and flesh.

  15. Ron Davis
    January 16, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    its more then just him cheating he has a crime sydercate around people that would seriously hurt people if they talk out of line. He has a mini mafia . and Because he is A-Rod he has other people in his web believeing him in the MLB world the simple minded like those other cheaters. So its not just cheaters. Sure the MLB went to great length to pay people off but it was A-Rod first involveed to get this ball rolling. So its not just him cheating its too all degrees he would go to cheat. If its not Anthony Bosche it would be another type like him. A-Rod is a bad person all ways around he may smile but he is dirt.

  16. Ron Davis
    January 16, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    IF the MLb did not go too this length i believe it would of told the A_Rods of this world they can do this. MLB may of had to go to bed with the mob but they did it because they had to show A-Rod they want to stop his action.

  17. Sam
    January 16, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    How does one dodge a bomb?

  18. January 16, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    2 biggest mistakes of the early’00s were:

    1- not signing Alex Rodriguez
    2- not signing Vladimir Guerrero

  19. Ron Davis
    January 16, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Charles its what you left out .
    1 Jeff Wilpon takes over for Nelson Doubleday
    after building Citifield Jeff comes back from building to killing our team

    2 Fred and Jeff get caught in Ponzi scheem
    3 they refuse to sell more tragic then the players they did not pick up
    4 ollie Perez given a 4 year 36 million deal
    5 Jayson Bay signed. I like Jason the person turned out to be a mistake.

    • January 16, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      Did you not see my “early 00s” qualification? I was thinking more of the Steve Phillips era than anything since. After that it’s self-evident…

  20. Maury Feldman
    January 16, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    If the Mets had signed A-Rod in 2000, yes they would likely have made the playoffs in 2001; but thereafter, they would have entered a period of decline anyway.

    A-Rod would have provided a great deal of value to the Mets over the original contract. But the Mets would only really have come out ahead, apart from 2001, if they were able to lose him somehow…either by trading him for prospects, or by letting him go in the opt-out. My guess is that they would likely have found themselves in the exact place the Yankees now find themselves.

    • Dan Kolton
      January 16, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      I see what you are saying, but I believe that the Mets would be smart enough not to resign him after his contract was up. He was caught for the PED scandle in 2009, so when he would become a free agent, the Mets would probably give him nothing more than a qualifying offer, knowing he would not sign it. If this were to happen, the Mets would not find themselves in the same situation as the Yankees, because the Yanks still have to deal with the A-Rod for possibly another two-three years.

  21. BringBackDaveTelgheder
    January 16, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Really weak article. ARod has never failed an actual test to give him a suspension. While he was of course doing something, he did admit to it…it just helps put it in context that there are certainly dozens of other players still doing PEDs. Why couldn’t the Mets have had one on their team? Are the Red Sox giving World Series back for having Ortiz (he was on the same initial list as ARod)? Are the Yanks giving anything back for having Clemens, ARod, etc? Of course not.

    If ARod was here from 2000 through 2010 he would have put up insane numbers, had his share of controversies and possibly have won us a few titles while possibly still having us be a relevant team, unlike now.

    • Dan Kolton
      January 16, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      I never actually said in my article that A-Rod failed a drug test. I said that he has been caught for taking them due to reports from well known and/or trusted sources. And I do not blame the Yankees or the Red Sox for not taking their titles back. Whether the man that carried them cheated or not, no professional sports team would ever give back a championship… its how the world of sports work.

  22. Nasir Jones
    January 16, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    If the Mets had won the arod sweepstakes against Texas that would had been ok. Mets would had been a much better team. Arod problems started after that contract was over. His problems come from injuries and not being able produce the numbers he did on that original Texas contract. Arod problems came about after the new contract, the Yankee contract. Yankees should had follow plan and let Arod walk when he forfeit the rest of that original contract and opt out.

  23. Dan Kolton
    January 16, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Something else to think about… if A-Rod had signed with the Mets, do you think he would have taken PEDs? As of now, we only know that he took them while on the Rangers and while on the Yankees. When he played for the Rangers, they were not looked upon as anything close to a good team, so he probably felt the need to go above and beyond while carrying the team on his back. While on the Yankees, he first played under his Texas contract. But when he signed a newer, bigger contract with the highly regarded New York Yankees, he probably felt the need to once again go above and beyond, in order live up to the massive contract. If he were on the Mets however, he would have had other superstars such as Wright, Reyes, Piazza, Beltran, Floyd, Martinez, Cameron, etc. to back him up, and he would not need to be the superstar player he had to be for both the Rangers and the Yankees.

    • Jerry Grote
      January 16, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      so you are asking if a cheater would have risen above his morally bankrupt self because he became involved with always-principled NY Mets?

      Uh. OK.

  24. Ron Davis
    January 16, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    in retrospect all things are possible. now wasn’t Rey Ordornez still with the club in 2001? i know he was hurt in 2000 when we went to the world series. thats why we had Bordick/. Can’t say what is what it did not happen so lets move on

  25. Rico
    January 16, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Anyone remember at the time of the courtship, Mets GM Steve Phillips said signing A-Rod would be a team of “24 + 1″ and the media bashing him at the time.

  26. Ron Davis
    January 17, 2014 at 6:15 am

    i made that same point on a earlier post somewhere on the Mets blog. Ironically because i hate Steve Phillips but he was correct.

  27. Ron Davis
    January 17, 2014 at 8:13 am

    i maybe in the minority on this. Depending on the player. Bryd i understood he did it. but he got caught he never denied it and he is not a HOF type. A-Rod had all the talent in the world without anything who knows if that was due to PED. its the lies and coverup and the way he and others like him went about they are better then thou attitude its that what bothers me most. I could care less as far as them harming themselves because that is in the end what they are doing.

  28. January 17, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Yeah from 2000 – 2010 he won three MVP awards and was in the top 15 in MVP voting all of those years. Yeah I sure wouldn’t want any of that kind of production on the Mets…

  29. Ron Davis
    January 17, 2014 at 11:34 am

    what good is his production if he only won 1 world series in that time . sure i like to win but i want to do it legit not with PED lying jerkoffs

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