Being the cynical baseball fan that I am, I have once again found something very annoying that has caught my eye. Throughout the playoffs, baseball analysts have found it overwhelming that Alex Rodriguez should be paid a substantial amount of money for his services. They argue that teams aren't winning with big time free agents, that they are slowly building their teams from the ground up. Now, I find this statement true in some ways, as it is obvious that young talent is playing a huge role in teams' successes in recent years. However, to say that championship teams don't have big time free agents (or high priced trade bait) playing for them is blind ignorance of actual fact. Taking a quick look at World Series winners from 2002 on will show you why;
2002 Anaheim Angels
Tim Salmon- Highest paid player on the team made 9.65 million, was signed to a 4 year/40 mil. Extension before season.
Kevin Appier(acquired in trade with Mets)- Second highest paid player on team, made 9.5 million
Aaron Sele(acquired through free agency)- Third highest paid player on the team, made 7.2 million
2003 Florida Marlins
Ivan Rodriguez(acquired through free agency)- Highest paid player on team, made 10 million.
2004 Boston Red Sox
Manny Ramirez(acquired through free agency)- Highest paid player on team, made 22.5 million.
Pedro Martinez(contract extension)- Made 17.5 million
Curt Schilling(trade)- Made 12 million
Nomar Garciaparra(contract extension)- made 11.5 million
2005 Chicago White Sox
Jose Contreras and Freddy Garcia, the two highest paid pitchers on the team, were acquired in trades and paid 8.5 million and 8 million, respectively.
2006 St. Louis Cardinals
Albert Pujols(contract extension)- 14 million, highest paid player on team
Scott Rolen(trade)- Made 12.5 million, second highest paid player on team
Jim Edmonds(contract extension)- 12 million
Jason Isringhausen(free agent)- 8.75 million
2007 Boston Red Sox
Manny Ramirez- 17 million
J.D. Drew(free agent)- 14 million
David Ortiz(contract extension)- 13.25 million
Curt Schilling(contract extension)- 13 million
Jason Varitek(contract extension)- 11 million
Mike Lowell(trade)- 9 million
*paid 52 million dollars just for the right to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka
While it is obvious teams are taking more stock in their farm system in today's game, the winning teams are also signing big time free agents, or paying to keep their stars off the market. To ignore this fact is nothing more than idiocy, as the truth is there for all to see.
Now as for the question of whether or not teams should pay for Alex Rodriguez' abilities;
It's going to cost you, but for that money, this is what last season would have gotten you compared to the other third baseman in the league.
54 Home Runs, which would give him 20 more than the next highest total by a third baseman
143 Runs, which means he scored 30 more times than the next third baseman.
Sure, I'll do RBI. He has 156, the next closest by a third baseman was 120.
He has the second highest OBP, behind Chipper Jones
His Slugging percentage was .11 points higher than the next closest third baseman.
Alex Rodriguez isn't cheap, but there isn't another third baseman in baseball that can rival his output.