A-Rod and the money game

The other Steinbrenner son speaks
Pettitte will miss first start

As the Red Sox and A’s duke it out in the late innings – good work, Huston Street – the Daily News checks in with everyone’s favorite third baseman, Alex Rodriguez. In an interview with John Harper, A-Rod talked about his past regrets and contract decisions.

The piece takes a different tone from others. Instead of rehashing that familiar territory of the opt-out saga, A-Rod talked about his 2000 decision to go with the money in Texas instead of his heart with the Mets. It’s a twist, but in light of this off-season’s events, it doesn’t ring totally true. Harper writes:

The conversation initially centered on A-Rod’s pursuit of a ring, but veered off into areas he has rarely discussed: The regret he suffered when he shunned the Mets in favor of the Rangers in 2000, and the .personal conflict that surrounded his decision to break away from agent Scott Boras this past offseason.

“I went for the contract when my true desire was to go play for the Mets,” Rodriguez said of his decision to ink his $252 million deal with Texas eight years ago.

As A-Rod looked back on the events of the past offseason, he seemed haunted by the idea that in breaking free of the Yankees he could have made another decision based strictly on money and wound up as unhappy as he was in Texas for three years.

The three-time MVP says that at some point after his opt-out decision in October, he realized he could have been heading for a similar scenario, with Boras dictating his next destination…”So to make the right decision just feels really good,” Rodriguez said, “versus being taken down a road where I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, where am I? Oh, $400 million to play in some place I hate? Great, I’ll blow my — head off.’ I wanted to remain a Yankee and for once I put my money where my mouth was.”

Of course, absent in this seemingly honest confession by A-Rod is any mention of the fact that he still managed to cash in to the tune of at least $275 million. He still managed to land the biggest contract in the history of baseball, and for all we know, the Yankees pulled a Tom Hicks and outbid themselves. Since A-Rod reconciled with the Yanks before fielding any other serious offers, we’ll never know if the Cubs or Angels were willing to hit that $300 million plateau.

As Opening Day approaches, the cynic in me wonders if A-Rod should just leave this past behind him. What’s done was done for whatever reasons. It’s hard to envision an altruistic A-Rod eschewing millions of potential dollars to play for the Yanks for just $275 million plus endorsement opportunities and those historic bonus clauses. Maybe for A-Rod, he viewed this as a decision to stay in New York, but he has hundreds of millions of reasons to forget his regret.

The other Steinbrenner son speaks
Pettitte will miss first start
  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    damn you, Huston!

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  • pete c.

    It’s funny how everyone forgets how other teams stayed away last fall. So yes I also think the Yanks out bid themselves.

    • steve (different one)

      of course, A-Rod was back talking to the Yankees before the period when other teams could talk money with him even started.

      according to this:


      several teams were lining up to talk to him.

      A sextet of big-market teams were quietly lining up to bid for Alex Rodriguez in early November. Meetings were scheduled with both Los Angeles teams, the Dodgers and Angels, and according to people close to Rodriguez, the Mets, Red Sox, Giants and Tigers all were showing interest, as well.

      but hey, i guess it’s more realistic to believe that no one was going to offer the best player in baseball a gigantic contract.

  • whozat

    “It’s funny how everyone forgets how other teams stayed away last fall. ”

    Oh, you were listening in on Scott Boras’ cell phone calls?

    We’ll never know who was willing to go how far. ARod didn’t engage in open negotiations with anyone else before taking the reins and coming back to the Yankees. The Yankees then paid him what they thought he was worth. How does that make it in any way LESS of a decision to eschew getting other teams involved in a bidding war?

    Taking the contract he was offered makes him somehow a hypocrite?

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

    Whozat: On my part, it’s more cynicsm than hypocrisy. I’m not sure how much I buy A-Rod’s tale of regret when he still landed a deal better than his last one.

    As for the Heyman story, as has been noted here before, his pieces have been more sympathetic to the Boras/A-Rod camp and don’t totally jive with other reports about potential contract offers for Alex.

    • steve (different one)

      the point is that A-Rod came back to the Yankees before he was even allowed to discuss money with other teams.

      ehh, who cares anymore?

      • NYFan50

        Is that really true? I thought he was allowed to discuss money with other teams already by the time he went back to the Yankees. I don’t remember the exact timeline though.

        • NYFan50

          OK, I looked it up. It’s…sort of true. :)

          Teams could discuss money with players on 11/13. Rotoworld reported on the 14th that A-Rod had been talking to the Yankees for the “past few days” about a deal. So basically…right around the time he came back to talk to the Yankees was the time he could speak with other teams. He certainly didn’t sign anything until well after he COULD speak with other teams.

          • steve (different one)

            right, that is my recollection as well. he had been talking to the Yankees for a week before the first “leak” got out that he was negotiating with NY.

            we can say what we want about A-Rod, but do you really think he was going to negotiate directly with the Steinbrenners for a week and then take offers from other teams? he was coming back the minute he sat down with the Yankees.

            and do we REALLY not think Boras had “conversations” with other teams before advising A-Rod to opt out? do we really think Boras would have risked losing the Yankees if he wasn’t pretty sure other teams would be involved?

            isn’t the most likely scenario that Boras spoke general terms with other teams and was then going to try to get the Yankees into a bidding war with the Dodgers or Tigers or whoever? doesn’t that seem like what Boras’ plan would have been?

    • JRVJ

      Actually, I’m pretty sure other teams would have come a-knocking on A-Rod, if only to get a reading on how much he wanted AND to push the market up (either because of a belief the Yankees would come back and pay A-Rod what he wanted or because they wanted to get the non-Yankee winner of the A-Rod sweepstakes to pony up more than they should).

      It’s sort of like the Santana sweepstakes – clearly Boston and the Yankees had their finger in the pie to feel out where the other team was and/or ensure the other team did not get Santana on the cheap…..

  • CB

    “On my part, it’s more cynicsm than hypocrisy.”

    Cynical is pretty much the right word.

    Why bring up the mets decision now? I’ve never, ever heard him mention it before. Never heard any words of regret in the least. I still remember how he was absolutely glowing at that press conference in Texas where he made one promise after another to Tom Hicks to bring him a winner (for $252 million)

    Why bring up the Mets out of left field?

    He’s bringing it up to create a new media narrative to spin the whole opt out fiasco with the Yankees

    It’s pretty clear his strategy has been blame Boras for the whole disaster with the Yankees (and I’m sure there’s a lot of blame boras should take…)

    Everyone knows , especially in New York and the New York media, the history there with ARod’s negotiations the mets before he went to texas. The Mets were widely considered the front runners. And then Boras started making those absurd demands from the mets – Arod’s own office in shea, separate PR staff, use of private jet, etc. etc. Those demands allowed Steve Phillips to get the mets out of the deal by saying that line about ARod being a “24 +1 ” player rather than a team player (they never wanted any part of paying him $25 million/yr)

    Everyone clearly thought that Boras went way overboard with those demands on the Mets and ARod’s image took a big hit. That was one of the first major blows to ARod’s whole public persona.

    Now ARod’s trying to link those “failed” negotiations with the Mets with the disastrous opt out with the Yankees. He’s said that opting out with the Yankees was handled badly by Boras and was a mistake. Now the negotiations with the mets were also a mistake – what’s the common denominator – Boras. In both cases ARod hear was in the right place but some external factor (boras) prevented him from doing what was right (despite the fact that he ended up with exorbitant money both times)

    This way it looks like Boras has a real history of leading ARod astray. There’ s precedent and context for what happened with ARod’s yankee opt out.

    He really should just stop talking. The more he says the less likable he becomes.

    • steve (different one)

      i’m not sure i agree that he is blaming Boras for not signing with the Mets. this is what he actually says:

      I went for the contract when my true desire was to go play for the Mets,” Rodriguez said of his decision to ink his $252 million deal with Texas eight years ago.

      this is the author’s words:

      The three-time MVP says that at some point after his opt-out decision in October, he realized he could have been heading for a similar scenario, with Boras dictating his next destination

      in general, i agree with your conclusion though: he should probably just shut up about it.

      • CB

        I know he said that bit about “I went for the contract…” but I think the implicit subtext is that it’s always been boras’s fault AND that the two situations were very similar.

        The fact is the ARod’s negotiations with the Mets DID NOT break down over money. They never got to the money stage – ever. They only spoke about very preliminary parameters.

        That’s because they stopped when Boras came up with those inane demands. That gave the mets the excuse they needed to exit. It wasn’t ARod’s choice to turn down an offer to the Mets. The Mets chose to walk away from the table. Do you remember how relieved Steve Phillips sounded when those negotiations crumbled? They didn’t want to ever pay him.

        So why is ARod bringing this up now after all of those years?

        I could be wrong on this, but that subtext is so strong, particularly in New York and the New York media (which beat the ARod – Mets thing to death) I think that’s the implication. ARod has been led astray for years.

        And I think you see the reporter take the bait for that subtext and media narrative ARod is trying to create. After ARod brings up the Mets what does the writer conclude:

        “he realized he could have been heading for a similar scenario, with Boras dictating his next destination”

        Why does the reporter not bring up the fact that it was the Mets that walked away before making an offer? Instead the reporter comes to the wrong conclusion that it was Alex’s choice and Boras lead him astray.

        The reporter concludes the two situations were the same – Boras dictating where Alex would go. So despite the fact that ARod said “I went for the conract….” the subtext of ARod’s statement’s gets the reporter to conclude the exact opposite – it was Boras’s fault with the Mets and in turn with the Yankees.

        This way ARod gets to have it both ways. By himself he “owns up” and “takes responsibility” but in fact creates a media narrative through the reporters conclusions that everything was primarily Boras’s fault going back to the lost opportunity with the Mets.

        • steve (different one)

          you’re a smart dude, CB. probably smarter than Alex himself. based on that, you may be reading more into his words than even he intended.

          i can’t disagree TOO much with what you are saying, i just think clumsy quotes aside, in the end he came back to the Yankees and made it happen. that’s all that matters.

          one last thought: wasn’t there a story when he was in Seattle he signed his first deal multi-year deal with the Mariners against Boras’ advice? and even before that, didn’t Boras want him to hold out for even more money when he was drafted?

          i am not saying Alex was innocent in this whole saga, he wasn’t. i am not too naive to believe that. but isn’t there also some evidence that Boras HAS consistently tried to steer him to the highest payday, sometimes against his wishes?

          • CB

            Steve, honestly with ARod it’s just come to a point where you just don’t know anything because it’s impossible to seperate spin from reality. So I could completely be reading too much into this. I’d also guess however that ARod has spoken to several high power PR and marketing people on how to handle this.

            I also do think it’s sort of amazing that ARod can say with the Mets situation “I went for the contarct..” and still get the reporter to conclude that it was Boras’ fault. That’s amazing.

            And yes it’s definitely true that ARod signed that deal with Seattle against Boras’ advice. But nonetheless there a flip side to this that’s well known in baseball.

            The reason why you sign with Boras as your agent is because you want to maximize your earnings potential to the last cent. You sign with him fully knowing (even if you’re 18) what Boras is about – and that is getting the biggest contract possible. That’s basically the agreement when you sign on.

            So of course Boras told him not to sign with Seattle to test the market/ arbitration.. That’s Boras’s job. That’s why ARod (or Matt Holliday, or Texeira, etc.) signed with him in the first place. The players know very explicitly up front what kind of advice Boras is going to give them – Boras is nothing if not consistent.

  • pete c.

    Actually I think the time frame worked out where other teams had the oppotunity to speak with him and the newspapers I read said there was no real interest, for various reasons; to much money to many headaches associated with the drama of Arod. And no smart ass I didn’t have Boras’ cell phone number. A believe Arod even said after he re-signed that not to many teams came calling.

  • pete c.

    Doesn’t anyone notice that almost nothing is Arods fault. It’s always someone else.

    • steve (different one)

      at “fault” for what? he’s a Yankee for the rest of his career.

      ultimately, what does it matter what methods he used to get the most money possible?

      he got a ton of money, good for him.

      it’s not like he signed with the Angels and people here are still trying to defend him.

  • pete c.

    He blamed Boros several times for what happened. Boros is his agent who presumedly does his bidding. That’s why I said that. Igeuss this is another site where they stick pins in your likeness for daring to say mean things about arod.

    • steve (different one)

      uhh, the original post, written by one of the authors of this site, was critical of A-Rod.

      all we ask is that you back your statements with facts:

      saying this:

      ” A believe Arod even said after he re-signed that not to many teams came calling.”

      ain’t cutting it.

  • Curramba

    Don’t want to hear ARod’s same old song. ARod just shut up and play. Show NY that you really are worth $275 they’re paying for you. Time to come up big not only in season but also during the post season.

  • ADave

    People, we must remember that baseball is a business. They don’t care about winning as much as we do. We don’t have a financial incentive in this team doing well. We just want to see them win because we bleed navy blue.

    Considering the time value of money, A-Rod’s contract will seem like a steal in the year 2018. He’ll be making $28M, which at that time, will seem like a bargain compared to what some other players might be getting. $28M now is going to be able to buy a lot more than it is in the new year 2018 (consider gas, housing and consumer goods costs and how quickly they are rising).

    A-Rod has a direct correlation to the YES ratings. That makes them $$$. They are opening a new stadium. That makes them $$$. They are working on taking over Japan and China. That makes them $$$. A-Rod is related to all of these things.

    That said, A-Rod needs to stop talking about his past and start talking about the future. No one cares about him thinking about the Mets, or opting out during Game 4 of the World Series, or how he wants to be the highest paid player in baseball. Just play the game as hard as you can, show the fans that you are human, and bring home a championship.

    LET’S GO YANKS!!!!