The A-Rod Plot thickens

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The A-Rod news is coming fast and furious right now. So let’s get to it.

First up is your and my favorite man in the stands, FoxSports’ own Kenny Rosenthal. In a recent piece, he writes that A-Rod supposedly cannot negotiate with the Yanks without agent Scott Boras because of the Collective Bargaining Agreement:

The Yankees will be in violation of baseball’s collective-bargaining agreement if they exclude agent Scott Boras from their negotiations with his client, Alex Rodriguez. “That clearly is a violation of the Basic Agreement,” Michael Weiner, the general counsel of the players’ union, told on Wednesday.

“Once a player designates an agent, a club cannot refuse to meet with that agent.”

Well, that’s all well and good, except that I disagree. The CBA, available here as a PDF, reads as follows in Article IV:

If the Association has notified the Office of the Commissioner that a Player has designated a certified Player Agent or Agents to act on his behalf for the purposes described in this Article IV, no Club may negotiate or attempt to negotiate an individual salary and/or Special Covenants to be included in a Uniform Player’s Contract with any Player Agent(s) other than such Player Agent(s).

A team may not negotiate with another agent for the services of the player in question, but no where in the CBA does it say that the player is barred from cutting out the middle man and negotiating with the team himself. While I’m not the general counsel of the players’ union, my educating reading of the CBA tells me that what the Yankees want to do and what A-Rod wants to do is perfectly legal.

And yes, A-Rod wants to do it. In a rather shocking turn of events noted to me by loyal reader Patrick, A-Rod has issued a statement on his official site. It’s the first we’ve heard A-Rod talk since the whole opt-out debacle. And what does the soon-to-be MVP have to say?

After spending time with Cynthia and my family over these last few weeks, it became clear to me that I needed to make an attempt to engage the Yankees regarding my future with the organization.

Prior to entering into serious negotiations with other clubs, I wanted the opportunity to share my thoughts directly with Yankees’ ownership. We know there are other opportunities for us, but Cynthia and I have a foundation with the club that has brought us comfort, stability and happiness.

As a result, I reached out to the Yankees through mutual friends and conveyed that message. I also understand that I had to respond to certain Yankees concerns, and I was receptive and understanding of that situation.

Cynthia and I have since spoken directly with the Steinbrenner family. During these healthy discussions, both sides were able to share honest feelings and hopes with one another, and we expect to continue this dialogue with the Yankees over the next few days.

So maybe A-Rod isn’t quite ready to go away yet. Stay tuned, folks. This ride just got interesting.

Update: A few of you have mentioned a recent John Sterling report on the WFAN. Let’s hold off on that one for now. We don’t want to get too carried away with the anonymous sources. It is, after all, John Sterling.

Update Again: Mark Feinsand at Blogging the Bombers reports that a deal is nearly done. We’re looking at 10 years and $275 million for A-Rod. This is all still based on anonymous sources.

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  • wayne’s world

    If he cuts out Boras and sucks it up by foregoing the money he caused the Yankees to lose, I can get to the point of forgiving him. It would indicate a huge amount of self-awareness, better late than never. In fact, this could be a defining moment for Arod. If he’s smart, he’ll take advantage of it. To err is human, to forigve is divine.

  • craig

    I don’t care about the money….since it’s not mine :)……but I do care that the HUGE hole at 3rd is filled, and the HUGE hole for a RH power bat in the lineup is filled…..without giving up any of the young arms.

  • Kevin23

    “no Club may negotiate or attempt to negotiate…with any Player Agent(s) other than such Player Agent(s).”

    The player agent WAS in fact designated, right? It’s Boras, right? So how can he be your agent with at least a standard non-compete clause in it, designate him as such with the league office, then undercut him on his own without violating both agreements? I’m not following the logic that, because it’s not another AGENT, he’s not doing exactly what the rules are there to avoid.

    He’s got to do it right: fire Boras, designate himself or someone else with the league, negotiate, and sign.

    • Ben K.

      I don’t think A-Rod needs to designate himself as the Player Agent. Based on other parts of the same Article in the CBA, A-Rod could choose to represent himself. At that point, he can negotiate with whomever he wants. This could, however, violate his agent agreement with Boras. That’s the wild card here.

      • Kevin23

        I figured. So he’s got to fire him. That much seems clear. I’m sure the clause is meant to preclude anyone, not just one with the professional title of “agent”, of negotiating on behalf of a represented player…even that player himself, because they would be in clear violation of contract with that agent, and thus, state law. It’s cleaner to make a uniform policy than worry about 50 diff. laws.

        So will he fire Boras? Will Boras put his head between his legs and accept a deal for his client rather than his ego? Is this all a subterfuge for the real negotiations going on in SoCal? I feel like a housewife watching a soap opera right now.

  • Tripp

    Yeah, I’m sure Boras has some clause in their agreement that doesn’t allow Arod to fire him between the months of November and February. The guy is such a worm.

  • Gibb

    what the fuck. is this shit real? I had finally come to terms with that fact that ARod is a complete douche. don’t make me have to root for him again. For fucking like ten more years too. jesus.

    • whatever dude

      You don’t have to. Go root for the mets.

      As if the yankees give a shit what you think.

      A-rod is the best player to fill the huge hole in their lineup.

      Who cares that you had “made peace with it” or some bullshit. who the f*ck are you?

  • boones

    Why the hell does everyone personally feel insulted. Who gives a sh*t how they got to this point. Who cares about money the Yankees aren’t getting from the Rangers. The Yankees wasted the same amount of money on a 6-6 pitcher this year, who couldn’t even give the team 3 innings in the playoffs. It was 21 over 3 freakin years, thats really going to break the Yankees back. I guess no one was insulted that Clemens accepted a Hummer from the Yanks for his retirement, then was a cash whore and played 3 years for the Astros. Then took 28 million from the Yankees and was cheered by everyone and hailed as a savior. Why does Arod need to go grovelling back for most people to be willing to accept him. Its not like he went out and banged all your fat wives and then kicked your kids on the way out the door. Taking this personally is dumb. He is the best freakin player in the world and will hit 40-45 HR 125 RBI for the next 6 years. Everyone should be happy the freakin Wilson Betemit era is not about to start, b/c personally that would insult me as a Yankee fan, that my team with the most money in the world would refuse to sign the best player in the world b/c he did what was in his contract and had a right to do. The bottom line is the Yankees are a much better team with him, no matter how it got to this point.

    • Kevin23

      Geez man. Most of us simply want to know that Arod WANTS to be a Yankee. That’s what makes you like-able in the first place. So far, he’s done nothing put turn down meetings and slap everyone in the face. For a cheap bargaining ploy. Where is evidence number 1 that he wants to be here? Show it to me and we’ll talk.

  • nmc

    So…. the real question is: Where does Mike Lowell play? (j/k)

    Does this mean that we might see Mini-Manny (Miguel Cabrera) at first base in the next couple of years?

    • Kevin23

      Isn’t the rumor that Lowell might play 1st?

  • PsiFighter37

    Does this mean that the ‘Selfish Jerks’ category will need to be retitled? :)

    I have to say that this is a fairly shocking turn of events, and I’m surprised that A-Rod stood up to Boras and cut him out of this. It’s going to be hard to welcome him back, given the stunt he pulled – after all, he had to give Boras the go-ahead to opt out in the first place. Maybe after he saw that 10 years @ $350 mill was a pipe dream, he realized that Boras played him.

    First-time commenter, short-time reader – you guys run a great site!

  • Pfistyunc

    Great news if it happens. I am still skeptical of it all, but this would completely turn around the fortunes of the winter. Maybe it would even convince Andy to come back.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I think this is shocking, but let’s support the idea of bringing him back.

    The statement on his website is very humble which is the Arod we need. Mike Lowell to first might make sense too.

    I read some RS comment on some blog that the Yankees have got to stop stealing Red Soxs. (We steal them?) If I am not mistaken, didn’t Lowell come out of the Yankee farm system?

  • Brian

    Jeter reacts to the news: “…or we very well could put a string of wins together with a guy who produces those kinds of numbers. That’s very possible, too.”

    This is great, no matter what we think of A-Rod the human being. He is one, right? And nmc has a great point: wouldn’t you like to have miggy cabs playing first after and before giambi is gone? I say get him anyways. IPK, Melky, and Steven White for Cabrera. Then, pick up Andruw Jones. Now that’s an offeseason.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      I don’t want to trade IPK and Melky for Cabrera without a pressing need. With Arod coming back, there’s no pressing need.

      • Kevin23

        You’re right. That’s a luxury decision there. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one of those for a change though?

      • dan

        I can’t see them trading for any hitting if they re-sign arod. There’s absolutely no need, and they need pitching much more. I could see Santana or another pitcher possibly, but no hitters.

      • JCP

        no way the Marlins do that deal. sorry to say. if A-Rod comes back, then both the Dodgers and Angels have more that they’re willing to give up.

    • nmc

      Yeah, I think Cabrera (Miguel) is, even if he becomes more fit, destined for the other side of the diamond some day. I’d love to have him; Girardi will not tolerate a lack of conditioning anyway. And we have the cash to sign him to an immediate extension. With him and ARod on either sides of the diamond, Cano and Jeter up the middle, it would be the greatest hitting infield ever.

      Speaking of Giambi, at this point I think the guy is dead weight. I’d trade him for prospects (even lower level ones) to San Francisco or the Athletics (he might waive his no-trade to go back to the Bay Area)… The money is already gone, so I’d even eat a chunk of his salary.

      I personally loathe Barry Bonds the man, but I think he could be useful in a DH role. (He’s better than Giambi in every way). If Melky was traded, that would even open up the DH for Bonds, considering Giambi plays first. Imagine a lineup of Damon, Jeter, Abreu, ARod, Bonds, Posada, Matsui, Giambi, Cano… terrifying.

      That being said, I think re-signing Alex allows the Yankees to NOT trade one of the big 3 pitchers. I’m very very happy with the current lineup and those 3 + Wang + Mussina/Pettite. They’d definitely make the playoffs and could have a great run.

      Now if only Mo would stop being such a self-righteous prick!

      • Relaunch

        Have you watched the Yanks the last 4 years? They hit well against average pitching, then do shit in the playoffs. Focus on pitching then trying to get Cabrera and Bonds

  • dan

    I hope it’s no longer than 8 years…. almost $25-30million seems a bit much for a 42 yr old. How will he be received at the stadium? boos/cheers?

    • nmc

      If I’m at the stadium, I’m cheering.

      • Mac

        I’m cheering my ass off. This is awesome, talk about redemption.

        • Jamie

          He’ll receive cheers from true fans, boos from the “suits” because they think its the cool thing to do

  • Jersey

    My initial reaction to all this was, what?!!?!

    Now, my reaction is calmed a bit down to, what!?

    Punctuation humor. I got nothin.

    • dan

      I chuckled

      • Jersey

        You’re too kind.

  • Kevin23

    He’ll be cheered when he hits one over the wall. Boo’d when he strikes out with runners on base for the third time in a close game. And varying degrees in between. Against Tampa, no one will care much one way or the other as long as the beer is flowing.

  • Travis G.

    275/10?! please god no. a 42-year-old 1b/DH making $27.5 mil?! Cash HAS to be smarter than this.

    • usty

      27.5 million dollars in 2007 dollars most likely will not be the same as 27.5 million dollars in 2017 dollars if the state of the game keeps going like it is. The Yankees have money, always have, so spend it. This is more like a credit card deal, just like Posada. Yeah, we’ll have 42 year old A-Rod making 27.5, but we’ll also have the luxury of 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 and so on year old A-Rod in our lineup. Money is only that…keeping our pitching prospects AND filling our hole at 3b is more important.

  • steve

    I have to admit i’m shocked. i did not expect this too happen at all. i’ll welcome him back with open arms though (as long as there isn’t any opt out options in his new contract)

  • Stephen

    We’ve all been through this rollercoaster ride with A-Rod but I would have to say that I would certainly gain some respect if he chose to fire Boras and accept a lesser deal than the one initially offered by the Yanks. My only fear is that Boras would immediately take this issue to court. Now I don’t claim to know all the details of Boras’s contract with A-Rod but I doubt he would just let him walk away without putting up a pretty serious fight.

    • Kevin23

      If A-Rod does everything by the book (ie. fire his agent, do the leg work of setting up meetings himself, negotiate a deal that was not in the works under Boras, and sign it) there isn’t a thing Boras can do about it. Now if Boras can claim he did some of the work, then he’s got a case. But it’ll be between A-Rod and Boras. The only way the Yankees lose here is if they get caught violating rules themselves.

  • davi

    I could careless what arod does, but if he does resign, it won’t surprise me. since the only real contender seems to be the angels, arod would not move that far away from his homebase of miami. i wrote an earlier post about this.

  • bill

    Fuck A-fraud. I was just getting used to life without him, now we’ve got to deal with that diva bitch for ten more years.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    He’s not going to fire Boras. He’s going to “talk” to the Yankees without him, go back and tell Scott what they’re doing and then they (arod’s rep, presumably Boras and the Yankees reps) will sign on the dotted line.

  • Stephen

    Does anyone else think that this could just be an elaborate hoax by A-Rod and Boras to get other teams to think that the Yanks are back in the bidding? I still kind of have a hard time believing that A-Rod would drop Boras this quickly.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      There is speculation of that but I just don’t see the New York Yankees as Charlie Brown kicking at the football.

      Though Boras does resembe Lucy.

  • yaba daba doo


  • Travis G.
  • Count Zero

    I’m a pragmatist. Always have been…my business associates say it about me all the time. Here’s the pragmatist view:

    We sign A-Rod for 10x$27.5. We fill the hole at 3B AND we have a RH power bat. We KEEP Cano, Melky, Wang, Hughes, Joba and IPK. (Not to mention Horne, Sanchez, Tabata, Ajax, etc.) We are now still able to negotiate on Santana if we so choose. Heck, we can still make a play for Miggy Cabrera to play 1B if we so choose. Or just about anybody else that floats your boat…

    What’s not to like? Your Yankee pride is wounded? Screw that — keeping a RH stud at 3B without giving away any of the holy trinity in the starting rotation is a win-win situation. Worst case scenario, (a career-ending injury brings insurance money into play) A-Rod starts to suck around age 38 or 39…while he’s chasing down BB for the HR title…bringing the all-time HR king back into pinstripes where he belongs. I can live with that scenario…really…I can. :-)

  • Mark

    The Yanks and A-Rod are made for each other. We get the added bonus of seeing Boras look bad. Keeping a lon list of prospects for Santana won’t hurt either.

  • Bxgrl1

    Sports Illustrated (Heyman) is reporting that while Arod talked to the Yankees, Boras is finalizing the deal.

  • Barry

    No harm, no foul, alex.

  • bkight13

    I just don’t know why is has to be 10 years. I think 6 years and $150M with some options would be fair, considering the Texas subsidy is gone.

  • Count Zero

    You know, if this deal gets done…you know what I’d really like to see? It’s effing crazy, I know…but there’s this sick, demented part of me that can’t help wishing for it…

    We trade Matsui and then we sign Barry to hit 5th behind A-Rod.

    I know — it’s stupid. Believe me I know, it’s stupid. But you gotta’ admit…it would be fun just to see the sweat pouring off managers’ brows every time Jeter and Abreu get on base. ;-)

    Jeter at first with nobody out…Francona in the dugout going: “Don’t you effing walk Abreu…don’t do it. Please, don’t walk Abreu? F@%K! F@%K! F@%K!”

    Come on, admit it. There’s some part of all of us that would like to see that…in a weird Led Zeppelin reunion sort of way. ;-)

    • Travis G.

      i dont think bringing in Bonds on a 1 year deal would be all that bad. DFA or trade Giambi (just eat the money), Bonds is the everyday DH. he can still hit. if they weren’t before, they would definitely be the most hated team in baseball. Arod and Bonds hitting back2back.

      but what i really fear is dealing with the Arod saga for a whole nother decade! god, and i thought it was finally over.

    • davi

      I’d prefer barry manilow over barry bonds seriously.

    • Mac

      That would be incredible.

      And regardless of whether it happens or not (I’m 100% sure it won’t), it’d be nice if we could get a legit power threat behind A-Rod some day. Here’s hoping for Giambi to go nuts in his contract year…

    • Ben K.

      The Yanks just do not need the media circus that Bonds brings with him. It’s bad enough as it is.

  • Barry

    After heavy thought maybe A-Rod really did opt out for the fans. I mean how much did we have to hear about Boston winning, it was almost a non-issue in sports news next to A-Rod’s A-Bomb.