Video: ESPN’s 30 for 30: The A-Rod Trade

RAB Live Chat
Update: MLB announces Yankees-Marlins exhibition games in Panama

I haven’t seen too many of them, but from what I have seen, ESPN’s 30 for 30 series is rather excellent. The latest (or one of the latest, anyway) entry looks at the Alex Rodriguez trade, specifically the failed trade with the Red Sox. The Yankees swooped in after that and acquired him rather stealthily. I found out about the deal by catching a glance at a television showing ESPN while hanging out with some friends in college. That was pretty fun.

Obviously things with A-Rod are disastrous these days, but the trade itself was marvelous. Alex was a beast from 2004-07, winning two MVPs along the way. The new contract, the one they gave him after he opted out, that’s a nightmare. Anyway, the video is 22 minutes long and includes first-person accounts from Brian Cashman, Theo Epstein, and several others. Check it out. It’s really well done.

RAB Live Chat
Update: MLB announces Yankees-Marlins exhibition games in Panama
  • TWTR

    I think it was Cashman’s best trade.

    • nyyankfan_7

      No one should disagree. It may be one of the better trades in history. The stats Arod put up between 2004 – 2007 were ridiculous and the Rangers were paying 40% of his salary to do it.

      It was the subsequent resigning of Arod after his opt-out that was one the worst moves in history.

      • Chris H

        Which falls completely at the feet of Hal Steinbrenner.

      • qwerty

        I do, everyone knows Cashman’s pinnacle of his career was the Mike Lowell for Ed Yarnall trade.

        As for the Arod trade, I felt at the time that the yankees could have traded Soriano for some incredible package deal. With Arod’s baggage and his opt out clause looming in the near future I saw Arod as a gamble that wasn’t worth it. I also thought at the time that Arod would crumble to the pressure of playing here, which actually did happen when his level of consistency took a complete nosedive by posting some of worst numbers of his career.

        • mike

          No disrespect….but if you were really watching back then, Soriano had already shown his warts and had become an all-or-nothing hitter who had more holes in his swing than swiss cheese and the Yanks were really to stick him in LF because his defense was horrible.

          to trade him for Arod- and keep him from Boston – was the only thing people were thinking about, and when he said he would shift to 3B to respect Jeter it was perfect.

          I don’t remember one discussion about an opt-out at the time of the trade, and by moving positions it was thought he realized he had to subordinate himself for winning/good for the team.

          we all know the reality to be different, but I don’t recall anyone having that perspective at the time :)

          • nyyankfan_7

            Exactly. If you thought people hated Swisher for his postseason collapses Soriano’s were about as bad – and from the leadoff spot.

            And lets not forget that after he got traded to Texas it came out that he was 2 years older than he actually told everyone he was.

            The numbers ARod put up from 04 -07 were crazy. 173 HRS 513 RBI 88 SB batting .290+. It was absurd. He was worth 5 Soriano’s.

            And you say he wasn’t worth the gamble? There was no gamble – Soriano was going to sign an enormous deal, which he did, and he was horrible after doing so. Trading him for Arod was an amazing trade – one that any GM with half a brain would have made in a heartbeat.

            • qwerty

              Yes, and the yankees paid big money for that type of production even with Texas flipping the bill for 7 million a season. That trade was no bargain. Soriano was paid 20 million during the same time period that Arod got 50 million. Is Arod 2.5x better than Soriano from an offensive standpoint? I think not.

          • qwerty

            Soriano was one of the most exciting and dynamic players in baseball at the time, and he played second base. I also thought he would improve on what he had did so far. Warts or not let’s sit here and pretend he was not highly sought after by just about every team in baseball who needed a second baseman. Many would have gladly traded their best prospects or young players for him.

            • Jcohen2

              Sorry but not one person could possibly believe trading for A-Rod was a bad idea. As Old Yanks fan points out Cashman paid 66.5 MM for 2 MVP’s and 31bWAR. That is mind boggling. To say the Yanks paid big money is simply not true He was a bargin. I think you either don’t remember how great Alex was before the opt out or you are choosing to ignore it.

  • ahk

    The music in this is incredibly tense haha. I realize that this was a big thing at the time, but I feel like I’m watching a war movie. Seems a little silly when you take a step back and realize it’s just a sport.

  • JCK

    Just think… if not for that opt-out clause…

  • Dirty Water

    At the time, A-Rod actually signed a new contract with the Red Sox because it was a reduction in salary which the players union later nullified because they thought it set a bad precedent. Jed Hoyer has said that he that signed contract somewhere in his files.

  • Dirty Water

    Jed Hoyer has said that he HAS that signed contract somewhere in his files.

  • Farewell #2

    I can’t believe the redsox were really going to trade manny nomar and Lester for arod. That’s a shit loaddd

    • Dalek Jeter

      In retrospect, yeah…but in 2004 Lester was a 20 year old kid who had just finished Low A ball, where he struck out 6 per 9 while walking close to 4 per 9

    • Jarrod

      That WOULD have been crazy but it was not actually the deal.

      According to SI it was:

      Nomar and Scott Williamson to the White Sox for Magglio & prospects; and
      Manny to the Rangers for A-Rod.

      Apparently Lester was not involved.

    • Dale Mohorcic

      You left out Ordonez and Brandon McCarthy going back to the Sux as well.

  • mattd

    “but the trade itself was marvelous.”

    No it wasn’t. The fact that the Red Sox won the WS in 2004 was a kick in the gut. Yeah, yankees won 1 world series with Arod. I’m not sure that makes up for all the other crap. But hey, look at the trade with rose colored glasses. The near disaster for the Red Sox became one for the Yankees, all because of this god awful trade.

    • Macho Man “Randy Levine”


      • Dennis

        He’d badmouth the purchase of Babe Ruth as well since the Yankees didn’t win in their first time up going by his logic.

        • Macho Man “Randy Levine”


    • Jarrod

      Refer to OldYanksFan comment below. THAT.

  • OldYanksFan

    In those 4 years (2004-2007), ARod collected 31 bWAR, and 2 MVPs, and cost Castman about $66.5m. Show me a more productive trade anywhere in MLB history.

    • Chelo

      Not a trade but Randy Johnson 4 years and like 56 million with Arizona, has to be the best deal ever no? Johnson won 4 CY plus a World Series MVP?

      • Dennis

        As you said, not a trade so it’s hardly relevant. It is right up there in greatest monetary investment in the past 20 years but it’s not a trade.