Talkin’ Baseball: A Brilliant Infield Duo That Never Was

An article by posted on February 23, 2014

Scores of Met fans may have missed it. The New York Post ran a Sunday piece by Joel Sherman called “A Decade of A-Rod.” Most baseball fans have had more than their fill of Alex Rodriguez, especially Met fans tired of A-Rod’s front and back page coverage in the New York Dailies.

alex rodriguez a-rod

In the piece, Sherman spends a lot of time dissecting all the events that played into A-Rod becoming a Yankee. The Red Sox came within a whisker of signing Rodriguez. It wasn’t until Yankee third baseman and post season star Aaron Boone tore his ACL playing off-season baseball that the Yankees were in on bringing A-Rod to the Bronx. As is their habit, the Bronx Bombers were all in.

Rodriguez, a Met fan when he was growing up, hoped his people could swing a deal where he would land in Flushing. As things turned out, A-Rod would be coming to New York only to the other part of town.

As a Met fan, the piece that interested me the most indirectly involved the Mets. First, as part of the deal between the Yankees and Rangers, the Yanks gave up Alfonso Soriano and a pinstripe prospect from a list of five. That list included pitcher Ramon Ramirez, outfielders Rudy Guillen and Bronson Sardinha, shortstop Joaquin Arias and second baseman Robinson Cano. The Rangers chose Arias.

Stop and think what may have happened in Texas had they chosen Cano. The reports the Rangers had on a young Cano were that the future Yankee second baseman was talented but moody, so the club decided to move in another direction.

Arias has played in parts of six major league seasons, three with the Rangers, one split between the Rangers with a cup of coffee with the Mets and the last two with the San Francisco Giants. In just over 800 at bats Arias has a major league batting average of
.272.

With the deal complete, Sherman reports the Rangers and the Mets engaged in serious discussions about moving Soriano. The Mets wanted Soriano and were willing to part with their shortstop, Jose Reyes, to get him. Texas owner Tom Hicks vetoed the proposed deal fearing a fan revolt in Texas should he move Soriano immediately after relinquishing Rodriguez.

If the Rangers had selected Cano rather than Arias, and had Hicks not nixed the trade with the Mets, the Rangers would have fielded a double play combination of Jose Reyes at shortstop and Robinson Cano at second base. Now that’s enough to make your head spin.

mmo

About the Author ()

MMO Minor League Analyst John Bernhardt is a retired public school teacher and administrator, who still coaches high school baseball. Growing up in a Yankees household, Bernhardt was an ardent Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra fan. When the Yankees fired Yogi in his first season as the Bomber manager, curiosity turned to passion when the Mets signed Berra as a player/coach and he has pulled for the Mets ever since. In retirement, John writes the sports for a local weekly, The Catskill Mountain News and hosts Tip-Off, a Friday morning sports hour, from 8:00-9:00 on WIOX, 91.3 F.M.

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