Commentary

BP Daily: Baseball's irreplaceable stars

Alex Rodriguez not among the 10 toughest players to replace

Originally Published: March 9, 2009
By Jay Jaffe | Baseball Prospectus

When the news on Alex Rodriguez's hip injury broke last week, the Baseball Prospectus crew brainstormed a few possible solutions for the Yankees. Unsurprisingly, we reached an inevitable conclusion: He's virtually irreplaceable, at least when it comes to finding a player under team control who could offset the expected loss of production.

Bound for surgery, Rodriguez is projected to miss six to nine weeks. Barring a trade, his most likely in-house replacement is 33-year-old journeyman Cody Ransom, whose solid .251/.348/.432 line over the course of 214 major league plate appearances spread across six seasons is dwarfed by a lengthy, significantly less impressive minor league track record which drags down his PECOTA weighted mean projection to a brutal .216/.293/.386 line and a -0.164 Marginal Lineup Value rate, the number of runs per game he would contribute (or cost) to a lineup of otherwise average offensive performers. By comparison, Rodriguez is forecast for 0.174 MLVr, a difference of 0.338 runs per game. That's 10 runs -- or roughly one additional win -- for every 29.6 games, or 54.8 runs over the course of 162 games.