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Big League Stew

The Dodgers were interested in CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira before the big trade

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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Sabathia and Teixiera in 2009 (AP)

It's been said more than a few times that the Los Angeles Dodgers are trying to become the New York Yankees under their new and deep-pocketed ownership group.

But as Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports on Tuesday that notion could have become literally true — at least somewhat — if the Yankees had been willing to part with pitcher CC Sabathia and first baseman Mark Teixeira. Sherman reports that the Dodgers inquired about both before going ahead with the mega-trade that nabbed them Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford.

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Getting both would have been a bargain for the Dodgers compared to the salaries of the Boston trio that they agreed to shoulder. Sabathia has four years and $99 million left on his deal while Teixeira has four years and $90 million. Sabathia is a much better pitcher than Beckett now, but Gonzalez is a better first baseman than Teixeira. Is he so much better that it was worth absorbing Crawford's big contract to get him? No, but it's all a moot point anyway as the Yankees weren't willing to send either player to the West Coast.

The Dodgers' inquiry was enough, though, for Sherman to start speculating whether Los Angeles would be interested in going after Alex Rodriguez in the offseason. A-Rod is still owed $114 million over the next five years and the remaining length of his contract doesn't seem to have that much upside. In addition, A-Rod would have to approve the trade and it'd be ridiculous for him to leave the cozier confines of Yankee Stadium (plus the luxury of the DH) if he wants any shot at taking down Babe Ruth, Henry Aaron and Barry Bonds. Sherman readily admits all of these barriers, but cites the Dodgers' willingness to do the unthinkable with the Boston trade as reason enough to keep the door open.

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That's fine, but though Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten and Co. are treating star power like the essential ingredient to a successful baseball team — sorry fellas, that only works in the NBA — you have to assume that even they'd recognize the folly in acquiring an aging A-Rod.

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