Astros: Alex Rodriguez, You Don’t Say?

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Aug 7, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez reacts after announcing his retirement at a press conference prior to the game between the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Rodriguez will play his last game on Friday August 12, 2016. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 7, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez reacts after announcing his retirement at a press conference prior to the game between the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Rodriguez will play his last game on Friday August 12, 2016. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports /
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Yes, Astros fans, this is an official rumor.

Per MLB Trade Rumors, Buster Olney of ESPN has hypothesized that the Astros could be a potential landing spot for New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez.

Where to even start on this subject?

First, it would be terribly bizarre to see Rodriguez in an Astros uniform. You can’t deny that one of the most notorious players throughout the past quarter of a century would surely raise Houston’s profile amongst the baseball landscape.

But would a pairing of a controversial 41-year old hitter whose best days are clearly behind him and an up-and-coming Astros organization make sense?

In a strange sense, this unlikely, and I mean very unlikely, the pairing could potentially, with potentially being the keyword, work out in certain ways.

Rodriguez, in theory, would carry a large amount clout in the Astros clubhouse that is headlined by Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, and George Springer. Like it was mentioned in the MLB Trade Rumor post concerning this rumor, “Rodriguez’s vaunted game preparation” would be something for the young Astros to emulate.

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And if there is anything left in him regarding productive hitter, the Astros could surely use him in a lineup that is hurt and struggling. That scenario would be especially enticing when considering that Rodriguez would be paid the prorated minimum salary with the Yankees picking the significant portion of his remaining money.

I wouldn’t count on the Astros picking up Rodriguez if I were you, though.

After all, the Astros may not want to have Rodriguez interact with their young stars for obvious reasons. While he has a great depth of knowledge from his successful years as a major leaguer, he does carry a certain amount of baggage that is undeniable. At the end of the day, the front office and ownership may not want to take on that kind of risk, which is understandable. And the circus that would follow the club could have negative repercussions that may carry over for quite some time.

The Astros truly lack room for Rodriguez on the active roster with Luis Valbuena inching closer to returning from the disabled list and Yulieski Gurriel’s promotion to the majors this month. And Rodriguez hasn’t exactly been the hitter that most of us remember him as in his youth. In all reality, you cannot bench a young Alex Bregman just so you can add an older Alex Rodriguez.

Then there is the lack of offensive production.

This season the former Seattle Mariner and Texas Ranger has slashed .204/.252/.356 with nine home runs and 29 RBI in 234 plate appearances. That low level of production translates into a 62(!) OPS+. This, under no circumstances, would help the Astros offense in the slightest.

But say if the Astros did acquire the current Yankees, he would essentially be a designated hitter as his days of playing the infield appear to be long behind him. If the Astros lacked options at designated hitter, then you could probably make a case for this rumor. However, this team already has numerous options to pencil in as the DH every day so that wouldn’t make much sense.

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The Rodriguez rumor, in this writer’s humble opinion, has a low probability of actually materializing. And there is no guarantee that Rodriguez would want to continue playing, even though he did hint that he would be open to the idea. In all, it just doesn’t make much sense for the Astros to pursue the idea of acquiring Rodriguez. I could be wrong, though, and trust me I have been wrong before.

**Statistics provided by Baseball-Reference**

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