I understand that only a shred of this must be accurate, but if it is even remotely true, then Orza and the Player’s Association are really misguided. In this scenario, the PA supposes that Rodriguez becoming a FA as early as ’05 offers him some kind of benefit greater than the restructuring proposed by the Red Sox. The Red Sox proposal (as represented in the press) would commit over 150M to the player over the next several years with some deferred income, and would have him playing in an environment of his choice and one which would afford him far greater exposure and upside w/r/t endorsements and other such endeavors. The PA proposal suggests there is “greater benefit” to A-Rod having a two year, $42M contract with some additional licensing ability and the option for free agency in ’06. I don’t see how, in ANY universe, the PA proposal is more “beneficial” to the player. In fact, that proposal (again, I take this with a huge grain of salt but engage it for the sake of debate) is insultingly non-conciliatory. As the market clearly bears nothing like what Hicks gave A-Rod three years ago, it is implausible that the PA has any sincere interest in working out a deal that actually helps out A-Rod. The “option” to become a free agent would never be used, and hence is no sort of concession to ownership. Who are they kidding? Boston asked that he slash his contract by $28 million to $30 million, which the union blocked, saying it would violate the sport’s labor agreement by lowering the deal’s value. The union and Boras proposed that Rodriguez lower his contract by $12 million in exchange for the right to use the Red Sox logo and marks in marketing deals. In addition, the shortstop would gain the right to become a free agent after the 2005 season.