The Yankees off season additions of Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia probably would have elicited a passionate reaction back in 1999, when both pitchers finished in the top-10 for the A.L. Cy Young award. However, with each hurler well past his prime and only signed to a minor league deal, both announcements were met with deserved indifference…that is, everywhere except for an isolated portion of an exclusive enclave in Miami where Alex Rodriguez calls home.
When the Yankees signed Colon, you couldn’t have blamed Arod if he shed a tear or two. In 57 career plate appearances against the rotund righty, Rodriquez had belted eight homers (including three in one game) and compiled an OPS of 1.515. Perhaps not surprisingly, since the last time he faced Colon in 2007, Arod’s offensive numbers have gradually declined. Coincidence? Pinstripes might be slimming to Colon’s waistline, but Arod’s offensive production could suffer the greatest reduction.
Just when Arod had the appropriate time to grieve over the loss of potential at bats against Colon, the Yankees added insult to injury by coming to terms with Garcia. If Colon has been the pitcher against whom Rodriguez has feasted the most, then Garcia has been his favorite appetizer. In 47 career plate appearances against the Chief, Arod has hit five long balls and posted an OPS of 1.449.
Losing the chance to hit against two prime targets would be bad enough, but both signings coming on the heels of Gil Meche’s decision to retire has only compounded Arod’s offseason of discontent. So, where does he go from here? He could always hope that neither Colon nor Garcia make the team, but rooting against the Yankees’ collective best interest would be a tad unseemly. With so many of his other favorite pitchers either in the National League or retired, it seems as if the Yankees slugger really has been backed into a corner. Call it a hunch, but if Arod opens the Spring by demanding a trade, remember that you heard it hear first.
Arod’s Hit List
Note: Based on a minimum of 30 plate appearances, including postseason.