CNNSI’s Jon Heyman has the news: A-Rod will be opting out of his contract. Here’s the story:
Alex Rodriguez notified the Yankees on Sunday that he’s opting out of his record $252 million contract, SI.com has learned.
Rodriguez’s decision means he will become a free agent and be able to negotiate with all clubs. Rodriguez’s bombshell move will shake up the entire winter for the Yankees — who had hoped to retain him with a big extension — as well as other big-market clubs that will now pursue him.
Rodriguez’s agent Scott Boras said he sent word of the opt-out in writing Sunday and left phone and text messages for Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. The Yankees have said that once A-Rod opts out, they wil not pursue him, since they will lose the benefit of the Texas Rangers’ $30-million subsidy.
“Alex made the decision today,” Boras said. “I thought we should notify the club.”
The Yankees were preparing an extension to his current contract for either five or six years, believed to be for close to $30 million annually. However, team officials said Boras has politely declined to meet with them in recent days, and they never presented the offer.
So now we’ll see if the Yankees are true to their word. As they’re losing a year’s worth of A-Rod money from the Rangers, they’ve said they won’t negotiate with him. Can the richest team stay true to its word in dealing with the game’s best player? The future just grew rather hazy for the Yankees.
As for A-Rod, if this report is true, I’m thinking some very unprintable things right now. Don’t let the door hit your money-grubbing hands on the way out.
Update 11:10 p.m.: Ken Rosenthal during the game just said he spoke to Scott Boras, and A-Rod opted out supposedly because he is unsure of the future composition of the Yankees. He’s unsure about Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte‘s return. He’s unsure of the ownership transition. He claims he will continue to negotiate with the Yankees.
For my part, I call bullshit. I’m pretty pissed at A-Rod. The Yanks were willing to offer him a five-year, $150-million deal. Somehow, Boras and A-Rod think some team — not the Yankees — can trump that offer. As Joe wrote earlier today, no way.
Meanwhile, A-Rod is — or was — the future of the Yankees. Mariano Rivera has one more contract left; Andy Pettitte may retire after next season; Jorge has three or four years if we’re lucky. Alex Rodriguez would have been the face of the Yankees for eight years. There would have been nothing at all uncertain about that.
As for the Red Sox, we’ll see. Let’s see how the fairweather fans who hated A-Rod in Boston respond to that one.