A-Rod's steep decline
There are players who sign their last big contract and then shut it down emotionally, and in their preparation, and Alex Rodriguez will never be that guy. He will always diligently do his offseason work, always fight to get better, always show up to the ballpark to take extra grounders.
Rodriguez is in year five of his 10-year, $275 million contract that he signed with the Yankees after the 2007 season, and there is growing concern regarding how long he can be an effective player.
He still gets on base, because of his ability to work the count and take a walk; his current on-base percentage is .384. But year by year, his power appears to be diminishing, as reflected in his slugging percentage.
His power is serving as an anchor for his plummeting OPS:
Since the start of the 2011 season, Rodriguez has 21 homers in 509 at-bats, and he has a slugging percentage of .448. That ranks 79th among 222 hitters with at least 450 plate appearances, according to Justin Havens of ESPN Stats & Info.
For full access to Buster's blog, become an Insider today.