Earlier this evening, my dad and I were discussing the A-Rod contract, and just a short while ago in the comments here, Eli voiced what we had all been thinking: Did the Yankees really get a good deal for A-Rod? Does a 10-year, $275-million contract really represent a bargain?
Here’s Eli’s full question:
How badly did we overpay? What was our pre opt out offer? 5 year extension at $30 less the Texas discount on the remaining 3 for $81? Total $230 over 8, $28.75 per?
Now were paying $275 over 10. $27.5 per. How are we getting a discount?!?! Seems like were rewarding him for this nonsense. Giving him two extra years I doubt he could get anywhere else for what? A 40 + year old DH at $27.5 per??
To answer this question, we’re going to have rely a little bit on conjecture and a little bit on the confusing terms of A-Rod’s old contract. First up, A-Rod’s old contract. According to the indispensable Cot’s Baseball Contracts, A-Rod was due at least $27 million a year over the next three season for a base total of $81 million.
But he could void the deal after 2008 or 2009 if his club didn’t increase his 2009-2010 salary by $5 million a year. He could have made up to $91 million over those three years, and it’s hard to believe he wouldn’t have held the Yankees up for that money had he kept the terms of his old contract. The Rangers were on the hook for $21 million of that total. So that leaves the Yanks’ contribution at a potential $70 million.
Now, the conjecture. When the Yankees threw out an offer to A-Rod and Boras in October, the numbers included five years and $150 million. Remember though that this was simply their initial offer. It’s my belief that the Yanks were willing to go seven and $210 million. At that point, their total contributions would have been at about $280 million over ten years.
So they saved a whopping $5 million.
Considering the stratospheric numbers we’re talking about here, it doesn’t sound like those $5 million will make a huge difference in the grand scheme of the Yankees. But I don’t think that’s the point.
Rather, the Yankees, by maintaining a hard line in the negotiations, proved that, while the Boss’ days may be numbered, Hank and Hal are just as much a force behind this team as George was. They broke the Scott Borus stranglehold over baseball, and welcomed back A-Rod on their terms instead of on his.
After A-Rod opted out, I told my friends that I would still be more surprised if A-Rod weren’t the Opening Day third baseman come 2008 than if he were simply because, when push came to shove, no other team was going to shell out the money the Yanks had available to them for A-Rod. I realized that well before the season ended; it took a colossal mistake on the part of Boras and A-Rod for them to realize it.
In the end, in all honesty, the Yankees aren’t getting a great deal. They’re not overpaying, but they’re not underpaying either. They’re simply paying A-Rod what they would have given him in the first place. But they’re doing it on their terms, and that edge makes all the difference.