Alex Rodriguez has driven in 100 runs thirteen times during his career, but drove in only 62 in 99 games last season and has driven in 41 in 87 games, so far this season and ESPN.com projects him to drive in 74 runs this season. He is being paid $29 million according to baseball-reference, while ESPN shows him being paid $30 million in 2012.
He is 5th on the Yankees in RBI with 41 and only has one more RBI than Raul Ibanez, who has 95 fewer at bats. His slugging percentage of .442 is the worst of any season in which he has had at least 300 at bats. This is his fifth straight season, in which his slugging percentage has dropped from the season before.
2007 – .645
2008 – .573
2009 – .532
2010 – .506
2011 – .461
2012 – .442
It was in February of 2009 when Rodriguez admitted using steroids for a three-year period. I am not buying the three-year confession, since his numbers jumped from 5 home runs and 19 RBI in 1995 with Mariners, to 36 home runs and 123 RBI the next season. His slugging percentage jumped an alarming 223 points from 1995 season till the 1996 season. This was long before 2001-2003, when he confessed taking steroids while with the Rangers.
Why didn’t Bud Selig strike the 158 home runs from the record book, after Rodriguez confessed he had used steroids? Instead Rodriguez has 643 lifetime home runs and only needs 17 to tie Willie Mays for 4th on the all-time list. He has 1,933 RBI and is 8th on the career list. Rodriguez should pass Ty Cobb with 1,938 and Stan Musial with 1,951 by the end of August.
Rodriguez may fare worse in Hall of Fame voting, than some of the other players linked to steroids, since he actually confessed to using them and did test positive, even though his name being on the list of steroid users was leaked to the press.
The question now is what do the Yankees do with Rodriguez if his numbers continue to plunge, while paying him such an exorbitant salary. How can they pay Raul Ibanez $1.1 million to drive in 40 runs, while paying Rodriguez $30 million to drive in 41 in 95 more at bats than Ibanez?
So far in his major league career Rodriguez has earned $296 million and the Yankees will have paid him an additional $144 million by the time his contract expires after the 2017 season. He would have earned $440 million by the end of the contract. Rodriguez could earn an additional $6 million for his 660th and 714th home runs. It looks like he may not collect the $6 million for his 755th home run and $6 million for tying and breaking the home run record, for a total of $30 million extra if he reaches all five milestones.
That is a lot of money for a player that is 68th in the majors in slugging percentage among qualified players and when including the non-qualified players with too few at bats to qualify, Rodriguez is ranked 170th.
Rodriguez is hitting .305 with the bases empty in 2012, .205 with runners in scoring position, 2-13 and hitting .154 with the bases loaded and .185 with runner in scoring position and two out. Rodriguez may be earning a lot of money, but he is not a money player as indicated by his one home run and 6 RBI total against AL East teams in 110 at bats.
The New York Yankees may win the AL East, but so far Alex Rodriguez has not been a big part of it. The Yankees $83 million infield is earning more than half of the major league clubs with payrolls from $49 to $82 million.