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A-Rod's steep decline

Updated: May 18, 2012, 11:45 AM ET
By Buster Olney

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.

2007: .645
2008: .573
2009: .532
2010: .506
2011: .461
2012: .412

His power is serving as an anchor for his plummeting OPS:

2007: 1.067
2008: .965
2009: .934
2010: .847
2011: .823
2012: .796

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.

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