I’ve told you how much I expect A-Rod to get, and now that it looks like the Yankees are out of the picture, I wonder where he will go. No, this isn’t a contest—there are only so many places he can play—I just think that most of the predictions by the media are a bit too focused on big markets. For example, Bruce Jenkins lists his candidates in the San Francisco Chronicle: Giants, Angels, Dodgers, Mets, White Sox, Cubs, Tigers, and Red Sox. All of these clubs have relatively large payrolls (all over $90 million in 2007) and play in relatively large markets.
Why are we assuming that only big-market teams can purchase A-Rod? Small-market teams still do quite well, and the boost in revenue from having the talent and star-power of A-Rod could mean quite a lot to a team. I’m looking at a young teams on the rise with low-payroll stars who make far below their contributions to team revenue thanks to the CBA rules. In the latest ESPN Magazine, Buster Olney suggests that the Marlins may be in the market for A-Rod. The Marlins have a new stadium on the way (supposedly), some good young and cheap players with a farm that seems to keep producing them, and a payroll so low that adding A-Rod would double the team’s total salary expenditure yet still keep the team below the league average. I like Olney’s reasoning.
I’m not saying that Rodriguez will necessarily sign with such a team, but I think his list of suitors is less limited than most people think. After all, it was Texas, not the Yankees, who inked A-Rod to his first record free agent contract.