A-Rod Parsed

"I want to stay in New York, no matter what," Rodriguez said in the Yankees’ third-base dugout before Tuesday night’s game at Tampa Bay.

"I love New York. It’s the greatest place for me to play."

He’s opting out.  Guaranteed.  If he wanted to, he could easily have said "I’m not opting out.  I will NOT opt out. I am staying in New York".  The Yankees better start saving their pennies.

23 comments… add one
  • Or, he’s going to ask Cashman for a guaranteed extension so he can stay in New York, because he (and his family, everyone keeps forgetting that) love NY.

    Andrew April 25, 2007, 10:37 pm
  • To continue (I don’t know why I stopped there), he is only saying he won’t opt out so he DOES get that extension. The image is “Well, I really want to stay in New York, and I offered Cashman the option to sign me until the end of my career.”
    That way the ball is in Cashman’s court, and the onus won’t be on A-Rod. This is Boras both giving A-Rod (and himself, obviously) more money without ruining A-Rod’s (and his own, so his players don’t think he runs their lives) image. It’s genius, really.

    Andrew April 25, 2007, 10:55 pm
  • Even if he said “I won’t opt out,” does that really mean anything? Look at Johnny “I could never play for the Yankees” Damon.

    froggywomp (SF) April 25, 2007, 11:33 pm
  • Or, he’s going to ask Cashman for a guaranteed extension so he can stay in New York, because he (and his family, everyone keeps forgetting that) love NY.

    SF April 26, 2007, 6:20 am
  • Andrew is correct in both his comments: this statement by A-Rod absolves him of the reponsibility to opt out; if the Yankees want him (and he says that he wants them clearly) then they can have him, no competition. They will still have to pony up, though. I should have posted that “A-Rod stays if extended or he opts out, as simple as that. The Yankees better start saving their pennies”.

    SF April 26, 2007, 6:38 am
  • Here’s a question. If the Yanks give him a contract extension, does that mean they still have him on the books the next three years per the original contract (where the Rangers help foot some of his contract)?

    Nick-YF April 26, 2007, 6:49 am
  • yea, yea, i love ny too…born and raised upstate…and i always said i never wanted to leave…i wound up moving to ct with my job and now i live in fla…and i did it all for the money…arod has a bit of a track record for lying about this stuff before…when he went to texas he said it wasn’t about the money, even though there were 252 million reasons not to believe him, then after texas made him the team captain, he said he never wanted to leave there, wanted to lead the team to great success, only to realize a few months later, he was on a team that would never win…despite his immense talent, he’ll never win any awards for sincerity, which may be one reason why it’s so hard to like him, and for some, so easy to boo him when he messes up…
    i’m inclined to think if arod stays in ny it’ll be via the extension angle…as nick points out, there’s still texas’ obligation to pay part of his salary for the remainder of the current contract…i can’t see a scenario where the yanks are willing to give that up…they’ve already gone on record as saying they won’t renegotiate the current contract…these guys are creative, they’ll come up with a way to make it work if it’s meant to be…otherwise it’s opt out, and see what happens…the list of teams willing to part with the dough it will take to sign him is a short one, but someone will easily top what’s left on his contract and give him a few more guaranteed years…knowing his ego, he’ll want to be sure to retain the distinction of the highest paid [per year] baseball player…somebody’ll give it to him…

    dc April 26, 2007, 8:09 am
  • Glad to see Andrew and Paul corrected things. The negotiations this winter will be about the extension. How the Yanks respond determines what Boras will do.
    And don’t forget that the contract says he can opt out after each of the next three years. So nothing HAS to happen this winter.
    Look at this way: Yanks don’t win the Series and Arod has another weak post-season. Maybe if I’m Brian Cashman I say: “Well, we’d like to give him an extension but we’d also like to see Arod perform to his abilities in the post-season”. Ouch, indeed.
    Of course, if Arod has a monster post-season and the Yanks win the Series, all the leverage is with Boras. Alex could move on as a “winner”.
    What happens if reality falls in-between those two extremes (pitching fails, Arod monster) is anyone’s guess. But the Yanks are loathe to give out extensions before they have to (see Mo and Jorge). Meanwhile, I’m sure Arod doesn’t want to get pegged as a failure. Should be interesting…
    Nick – It’s to the Yankees benefit for that contract to remain intact with the next one starting after the old one ends. Boras of course could negotiate other forms of pay (e.g., a signing bonus) that adds to the total value of the next three years. So just because Arod plays under the old contract, doesn’t means he has to make *only* that amount.

    jim - YF April 26, 2007, 8:26 am
  • That was me, Jim, just “SF”, not Paul.

    SF April 26, 2007, 8:44 am
  • My gut has me agreeing with SF and Andrew. Unless extended, he’ll opt out. This is all the work of Boras, and we have his clients Damon and Drew as examples.
    (And, frankly, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Boras push him toward Boston. Whether Boston bites, we’ll see.)

    I'm Bill McNeal April 26, 2007, 8:58 am
  • I mean this when I say it and I am not saying it because it’s the Sox…Alex will never go to Boston. He isn’t mentally tough enough to handle the backlash from NY fans and the scrutiny of the Boston media/fans. If he goes anywhere like I have said before (not an original thought, I know) it would be LAA. Wouldn’t be the same pressure as Boston, NY or Chicago and the media doesn’t scrutinize the Angels.

    Triskaidekaphobia April 26, 2007, 9:40 am
  • My bad – glad to see Andrew and *SF* worked things out.
    It is amazing how the media has distorted the questions. Indeed, listening to the interviews with Alex, I wonder if the beat guys even understand what’s at stake. Why not ask him: Do you think you deserve an extension this off-season? Or: If the Yanks don’t agree to an extension, are you prepared to leave the team?
    Of course, there’s still plenty of time for all of that. Indeed, it could be a few years.

    jim - YF April 26, 2007, 9:43 am
  • Trisk, I agree on many levels.
    When I said Boras would push him toward Boston, I didn’t finish my thought. I don’t see it happening for the same reason. And I’m not sure Theo and the triumverate would want to add that salary.
    However, I do disagree with your Chicago media analysis. They’re pussycats here. The only one who throws stones is Mariotti, and he does it from the newsroom so he has no credibility.
    I could see Alex being a perfectly content Cub because of the completely oblivious fanbase. They’d love him and kiss his ass here like you wouldn’t believe.
    The way this town reacted after the Cubs got Nomie was hilarious. “I can’t believe we actually got Nomar. We NEVER do things like that.” It didn’t matter that he didn’t do anything of note while he was here.

    I'm Bill McNeal April 26, 2007, 11:20 am
  • IBM-
    I sometimes provide jumbled thoughts, so I apologize. I don’t know anything about Chicago media, I was referring to the fans. I know they are baseball crazy, I didn’t know they were oblivious. I guess from a distance I assumed they were just like NY/BOS fans….I figured in Chicago the pressure would be equal with the whole drought and all. But thanks for the insight, now it’s LAA and CHC.

    Triskaidekaphobia April 26, 2007, 11:30 am
  • Trisk, no need to apologize. This is simply banter, morning watercooler talk.
    I presumed you didn’t know that because before I moved here I thought the same thing. And I would guess that many Cubs fans, including my wife’s side of the family, would be pissed at me if they knew I believed that.
    Wrigley Field is know to White Sox fans as the World’s Biggest Bar. Wrigley is in the middle of a trendy neighborhood populated by 20-somethings. Few are real baseball fans. They live in Wrigleyville and go to Cubs games because it’s a trendy thing to do.
    Now, there are a few good, rabid real baseball fans who follow the Cubs with a critical eye. But most of the fan base is clueless postcollege drunks. That’s how they fill the stands late in the season when the Cubs are ending another crappy season.
    Easily, the most rabid fans are NYY and Boston. In the Midwest, STL and KC fans are very knowledgable. KC was a great baseball city in the George Brett era. White Sox fans are good, but are outnumbered by Cubs people. And WS fans have a chip on their shoulders because they believe the Cubs get all the attention. The Tribune owns the Cubs (for now), and they are broadcast on WGN radio (50,000 watts). So a lot of factors bring that misconception about Cubs fans.
    On the whole, I think Chicago is a crappy sports town.
    (OK, my turn to apologize. I’m sure that’s way more than you wanted to know.)

    I'm Bill McNeal April 26, 2007, 11:46 am
  • Thanks for the insight. Well maybe the Cubs are the front runners then! I just pictured LAA being the perfect fit because honestly except during a playoff game and they all have their thundersticks and rally monkeys, how many “rabid” Angel fans are there? He could pretty much escape the spotlight, but after all your insight, looks like Chicago could be the place for him, especially with his BFF Sweet Lou there.

    Triskaidekaphobia April 26, 2007, 11:53 am
  • On the whole preperation H feels good….Sorry IBM’s line reminded me of Austin Powers.

    Triskaidekaphobia April 26, 2007, 11:54 am
  • I’m not sure if I buy the “The negotiations this winter will be about the extension… How the Yanks respond determines what Boras will do.” argument.
    Boras’ negotiation strategy has always been to pit one team off another. If Arod and the Yanks are in discussions about an extension, another team couldn’t engage in contract discussions without tampering, and Boras couldn’t point to other offers (even make-believe offers, as I’ve heard Boras is prone to do) in order to establish his market value. I have no doubt that the Yanks are the front runners to resign him, but he’ll opt out so he can squeeze every last penny out of them. Opting out gives Arod significant leverage, and with Boras as his agent he’ll certanly do whatever he can for leverage.

    Tyrel SF April 26, 2007, 12:35 pm
  • You forget, Tyrel, the PR hit that Arod takes (which he’s very sensitive to):
    a) As already the highest paid in the game
    b) If he doesn’t produce an October even half of his April
    c) If he leaves without a ring
    Arod will always have that leverage. But the worst thing they can do is exercise it prematurely. That’s why you’ll read many more stories about an extension long before Arod opts out.
    And look at it this way, if Arod passes up his right to opt out this year and doesn’t take an extension, it only increases the leverage on the Yankees in the winter of 2008 so long as Arod performs. We already know that’s how Cashman would swing it. But it’s going to take alot of guts for Arod to opt out. This isn’t JD Drew and it isn’t the Dodgers.
    See, it could go down exactly as you say. But Arod takes a big PR hit in the process. Sorry, I just can’t see that.

    jim - YF April 26, 2007, 1:35 pm
  • Sure, Arod is sensitive to bad PR. But a couple of things –
    1 – Rule of thumb – ALWAYS go for more guaranteed money now. Scott Boras knows this. What if Arod does as you say, and doesn’t opt out and doesn’t take an extension, figuring he’ll make even more money after 2008, but then during the 2008 All Star break he has a horrible accident while bleaching his hair nd winds up partially blind in his left eye. Arod, and all baseball players, know that they are extremely lucky to get to play this game for money, and no one takes for granted that the money will come. There by the grace of God.
    2 – An extra $100 -150 million dollars in guaranteed money would go a long way in soothing Arod’s hurt feelings. A looooong way.
    3 – In terms of bad PR from opting out, really? The NY Post and Tony from the Bronx would be pissed, but come on. It’s the friggin Yankees. Do you really think baseball fans around the country would be mad at Arod if he left the Yanks because someone else was willing to pay him more money?
    Though another thing that I hadn’t really thought of is that if he opts out and then resigns with the Yanks, the Rangers will no longer be on the hook for 1/3 of his salary. So maybe that’s some incentive (approx $25 million’s worth, or a third of his salary over the three reminaing years on the current contract) for Cashman to negotiate an extension, as the Rangers’ contributon essentially would essentially pay a full year of his salary.
    But unless the Yanks go crazy, like 25 mil over 10 years, Boras is too smart to take an extension. I’ll go on record and say it’s inevitable that Arod will opt out. Mr. Inevitable.

    Tyrel SF April 26, 2007, 2:05 pm
  • I agree Tyrel, I think its highly likely that A-rod will opt out. Whats the point of having that in the contract if he isnt gonna use it. Its the same move anyone would do he just has higher money figures involved in his than any other player. I do think however that an extension is definately possible too. The yankees could come into the ballpark that Boras is expecting for a new contract and Arod, who may actually like playing here depending on his year, will take it. Texas paying a nice chunk of the salary over the next 3 years will definately motivate the yankees to explore this path. Coupled with the many records that Arod will be chasing come the end of his career there are certainly a few reasons for the yanks to work out an extension this winter. Experience has it that if the yankees decide to make a move, they almost always get it done. (DiceK as the only recent exception)

    sam YF April 26, 2007, 2:12 pm
  • Hey, Jason Stark agrees with the both of you today. Still I don’t. We’ll see. Arod may opt out – but it won’t be before lots of talk (at least a month) about an extension.

    jim - YF April 26, 2007, 5:20 pm
  • I would love ARod to stay because of pride. But pride doesn’t put 25 mil a year on the table..
    Well, you know, that standard of living in NY is high, after all..

    Lar April 26, 2007, 5:25 pm

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