The A-Rod Plot thickensBy
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 FOXSports.com 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.