October 9, 2007


Rodriguez says he hasn't decided if he'll leave Yankees; agent has plan in mind (Andrew Marchand, 10/09/07, ESPN.com)

If Alex Rodriguez opts out of his contract with the Yankees -- and as of Monday night's loss to Cleveland, it's still a big if because Rodriguez wasn't giving any hints and said he hasn't even thought about it -- his agent Scott Boras will prepare one of his trademark free agent books based on the premise that Rodriguez is the most valuable player in baseball history.

After the World Series, Rodriguez has 10 days to opt out of the final three years and $81 million of his contract. The Yankees would like to extend him before he hits the market because Texas is still paying more than $20 million of Rodriguez's contract. [...]

It's nearly impossible to quantify the relationship an individual player has to a regional sports network. The ratings for YES -- the Yankees-owned regional sports network in the greater New York area -- have climbed with Rodriguez on the team.

According to numbers provided by YES, ratings in 2003, the year prior to Rodriguez's arrival, were 3.2 for the season. In 2004 and 2005 -- Rodriguez' first two seasons -- the ratings jumped to 4.6 and 4.5 respectively.

In 2006, YES ratings dipped to 4.3, but this season the numbers peaked at 4.7. There are countless factors for these ratings, including having marquee players. Rodriguez, of course, is not the only star on the Yankees.

Most estimates say that if YES were sold it would be worth more than a billion dollars.

Boras thinks that Rodriguez's pursuit of the home run record will make him even more valuable on TV. He also says that by playing until he's 45, Rodriguez would also end up passing Pete Rose, who has baseball's all-time hits record of 4,256.

Rodriguez currently has 518 home runs and 2,250 hits.

"The thing about Alex is he has a chance to play 12 more years and break the all-time hit record," Boras said. "It is a record that he could break. You only have to go and map out that if Alex Rodriguez were to play until he is 45 and he averaged 35 home runs he would have over 1,000 homers. It is a unique platform where he is at at such a young age. The projections are rather mind-boggling when you consider the fact even if he performed at a level that is 15 percent below what he is performing at now, he still would lift many of these records just by the mere fact that he has played this long."

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 9, 2007 3:11 PM

Is it not common knowledge that the Torre-Jeter duo were the source of the vast majority of ARod's problems in NY (I guess you could include Giambi since he actually went on-the-record for that jaw-dropping hitjob in SI)? So why won't crazy George let ARod pick the new manager and then pay whatever it takes to keep him? No one else (except Boston, of course) can afford to pay him anyway...

Posted by: b at October 9, 2007 3:39 PM

The other owners won't let Cuban get the Cubs.

Arod won't opt out, he'll sign an extension with the Yanks. Think 5 years, 150 million, maybe with some sort of bonus that will take the final years of his current contract closer to 30m/yr.

He's already making 27 mil a year through '10, though the Yanks only pay 15 of that. If he opts out, they lose the 12 mil from Texas, and they've already said they won't try and resign him. Without the Yanks in the game to drive up the price, Boras loses a lot of leverage, especially since there are only 2-3 teams even capable of paying him.

Bottom line is, Arod can't get the exposure and the fame that comes with playing with the Yanks. The new stadium will be the house that Arod built, he'll get the monument in left center, and he'll break 800 home runs in the pinstripes.

Believe me, btw, ARod's too big for Chicago, and certainly for a backwater like NE. The only other reasonable place to play would be LA. There's still only 1 team in town there, and it plays in an extreme pitchers' park, which will make the run to 800 harder.

Go ahead tho oj, enjoy your few days in the sun, basking in the playoff loss of a team what according to you wouldn't even make the playoffs. The future's bright in the Boogie Down. There's no shame for us in losing to the best team in baseball while we're in a rebuilding mode.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at October 9, 2007 4:52 PM

Once he opts out he gets to play ss and not face Yankee fans, plus going to the NL will pad his numbers.

The Yankees do indeed deserve credit for taking advantage of the collapse of the A's, Twins & Tigers. They had the best year they're capable of, which is to their credit.

Posted by: oj at October 9, 2007 5:25 PM


Yes, if Jeter leaves Arod can stay.

Everyone can afford him.

Posted by: oj at October 9, 2007 5:31 PM

The union nixed the Boston deal last time, will they have an effect this time around?

Posted by: Benny at October 9, 2007 5:52 PM

I'm concerned about Boras starting to predict A-Rod's numbers at age 40 and 45. Not long ago, many people were talking about the day Junior Griffey would get to 800 HR's...then he started getting injured....Boras shouldn't jinx his meal ticket...

Posted by: Foos at October 9, 2007 6:25 PM

"Everyone can afford him."

Sure, dude. Whatever. Keep telling yourself that the Yankees are the evil empire, and the plucky Red Sox are only distinguished from the rest of the also-rans by the genius of Theo.

There are only 3 truly national clubs. One of them has always been run by morons, and the other 2 are evil. Well, "evil" probably should be reserved for Don Fehr, but Boston & NYY are really, really bad.

Posted by: b at October 9, 2007 6:32 PM

Your favorite team has money out the wazoo--they'd just rather keep it than buy baubles for the fans.

The next Arod contract will be awful for whoever signs him. But that's not why your team won't.

Posted by: oj at October 9, 2007 7:41 PM

Last time he was willing to take a pay cut, now he'll get a hike.

Posted by: oj at October 9, 2007 8:00 PM

Who cares. Choke-rod is the kiss of death to a team. Miss October. One solo home run doesn't Babe Ruth make.

Posted by: Bob at October 9, 2007 8:56 PM

Miss October

That's Mr.April to you. (Whaddya think the "A" stands for, anyhow?)

And he's still about the only guy who gets booed in Seattle. If he hadn't lied when he bugged out of here, he'd get the same sort of reception that Moyer, Cameron, Johnson, Griffey, Pinella and all the rest have gotten and will still get as long as they play.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 9, 2007 11:27 PM