Reports from Tampa indicate Alex Rodriguez will attempt to play this season with a torn labrum in his hip. If he opts for surgery, recovery could take from six weeks to four months depending on your source.
For those who have already drafted or are in keeper formats and are the proud owners of A-Rod, all you can do at this stage is rub the nearest rabbit’s foot and hope that he can avoid surgery until after the season. Even at 75%, A-Rod should still compile numbers to keep him among the top players at the third base position.
If your league hasn’t yet drafted, the question now is: where should A-Rod go off the board? Before the injury, he belonged with just a handful of players considered a possible first overall selection. But now…well, it’s down to the holy trinity of Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez for the top spot, with maybe a David Wright crashing a few draft parties. A-Rod will have to be content to slum it with the likes of Miguel Cabrera and Grady Sizemore a few picks down.
So the question is: do you feel lucky? Well, do you? It will take a gutsy owner to pick A-Rod inside the top 10. You could argue that after Pujols, Reyes, Ramirez and Wright are off the board, Cabrera, Sizemore, Josh Hamilton and even Ryan Howard or Ryan Braun are franchise cornerstones worthy of ascension above a hobbled A-Rod. Until you start considering names like Chase Utley (hip), Johan Santana (elbow) and Manny Ramirez (sanity), the risks of taking A-Rod probably outweigh the rewards.
That said, this same time last season many owners shied away from picking Albert Pujols with a similar fear of the knife (elbow surgery). Prince Albert, however, not only played virtually the entire season (148 games), he actually outpaced his 2007 performance with 37 HR, 116 RBI and a near career best .357 average. Mind you that A-Rod is nearly six years Pujols’ senior, the injury is in a different and more crucial area and A- Rod plays a more defensively demanding position. Yet it’s possible those brave enough to grab A-Rod late in the first round this year could well reap the same rewards as those who nabbed Pujols in a similar spot last year.
If you’re willing to assume the risk, drafting A-Rod could return a huge reward…or you could lose it all. But if you’re money is in bonds (not Barry), then grab a Ryan Braun and enjoy the modest returns.
So…do you feel lucky, punk?
P.S. This news has a ripple effect on the draft values of other Yankee players like Mark Teixeira, Johnny Damon and, indirectly, CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera. Some owners will downgrade Teixeira and Damon figuring the loss of A-Rod will limit their run production opportunities. Be on the lookout for steals here, since even minus A-Rod, the production of Teixeira, Damon and others isn’t likely to suffer much if at all. In fact, Rivera’s value might increase if the Yankees are involved in closer games as a result.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 08 March 2009 15:05 )