The mailbag is back with questions about the Derek Jeter/A-Rod debate, fixing the Knicks, and Jose Reyes’ future.


I SWEAR i don't hate you


Chris Asks:

Over the next three seasons, which Yankee do you think will most live up to his contract, Derek Jeter or A-Rod?

When I read this question, I wanted to answer A-Rod, given Jeter’s struggles, but I can’t quantify it. Plus, the Yankees gave A-Rod big bucks to produce for ten years while they gave Jeter $15 million/season over the next three years to basically shutup and be the figure head of the team.

Over the next four years, A-Rod will make $28 million per season, which will probably make him the highest paid player in the game. Will A-Rod produce like the best player though? He hasn’t in the last three seasons.

Since winning the 2007 American League MVP Award, A-Rod has watched his numbers drastically turn downwards…

2007: 54 HRs, 156 RBIs, .314 batting average
2008: 35 HRs, 103 RBIs, .302 batting average
2009: 30 HRs, 100 RBIs, .286 batting average
2010: 30 HRs, 125 RBIs, .270 batting average

In comparison the American League MVPs have put up these respective numbers since 2008:

2008 (Pedroia): 17 HRs, 83 RBIs, .326 batting average (54 doubles, 213 hits)
2009 (Mauer): 28 HRs, 96 RBIs, .365 batting average
2010 (Hamilton): 32 HRs, 100 RBIs, .359 batting average

Since 2008, Rodriguez has been the highest paid player and has failed to break into the Top 8 in AL MVP voting. With his hip injuries, age, and need for a day off every once in awhile, I can say with high confidence that A-Rod will not justify his contract, regardless of what Derek Jeter does.

Toney Asks:

How would you fix the Knicks?

There are a lot of unknowns at play here with the Collective Bargaining Agreement expiring after the season ends. Questions about the salary cap will definitely come into play. From a pure basketball standpoint, the Knicks will need defense, defense, and more defense. It doesn’t exactly help when the Knicks three best players don’t play any of it. However, the Knicks will need to get tougher at the shooting guard and center position. The only issue is money. With $51 million locked into three players, their hands are tied. The Knicks will most likely pick up Ronny Turiaf’s $4 million option as a one-year stop gap.

The Knicks are built for 2012 and beyond. Not 2011. The Knicks will make a run at either Chris Paul or Dwight Howard when they hit free agency. The Knicks may even choose to deal Chauncey Billups off at mid-season as part of a starting package for either player. Billups’ $14.2 million 2011-2012 contract allows the Knicks to match that amount with any free agent.

Mark Asks:

Jose Reyes’ future: What do you forsee?

For me, it’s a forgone conclusion that he’s not going to be on the team next season. His contract will expire at the end of the season and the Mets aren’t going to be contending for a pennant. The earlier the Mets deal Reyes, the more they’ll get in return for him. I think San Francisco would be a great fit. The Giants just lost Sandoval for the next two months and are in desperate need of an offensive jolt. Reyes would serve as a great rental player. In return for Reyes, could the Mets expect Jonathan Sanchez? I think it’s possible. Sanchez struck out 218 hitters last season and is 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA in six starts. The 28-year-old Sanchez is currently in his fourth full-season with the Giants.

Reyes is going to command big dollars on the free agent market and given the Mets current financial landscape, I don’t see him coming back. Better to deal him now, deal with the backlash later, and land a few good young players.

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