Wednesday, November 14, 2007


So what's going on with A-Rod? He announces he's talking directly to the Steinbrenners about returning to the Yankees, and apparently Boras isn't at all involved (the Yankees refuse to speak to A-Rod with Boras as part of the negotiations). There are two very different possibilities here: (1) he really wants back, knowing the best way to salvage his reputation is to take a pay cut (of at least the $21.3M the Rangers were going to pay him). (2) Boras is involved, but not directly - the Angels told him $30M max, less than he would've gotten with his old contract, so they concocted this whole scheme making it seem like there is a bidding war. I honestly don't know - either one seems plausible (though both are sort of ridiculous). I guess I hope it's the first one, because (a) I don't want him on the Red Sox; (2) I honestly like to think he's a good person, with a lot of this BS based on an honest mistake rather than malice/classlessness; (iii) it's sort of awesome to think he made a $20M mistake; and (D) this would seriously damage Boras's reputation, among both the players and the owners.

Also, if he does sign a contract without Boras involved, Boras still gets his 10% cut, right? I feel that must be in the agent's contract that the cut is guaranteed no matter who does the negotiation; otherwise players would be able to let the agents do 99% of the work, then fire them at the last second and not have to pay anything.

Update: NY Daily News says they're close to a 10-year, $270M contract. NY Post says they're still pursuing Mike Lowell, for first base. Ulp.

Update update: Channel 7 reports that 4 teams (Braves, Cards, Angels, Yanks) offered him four-year contracts, $15-16M/year. I'm sorry, but that's just too much. If he follows the money...oh well. (Hopefully he won't end up on the Yankees.) I suppose since they cite just a "source", it could easily be his agent, trying to get Boston to offer something bigger.

Update update update: Yep, looks like Channel 7 was wrong. Cards are denying making any offer, and other sources (1-2 days old) say the Angels and Yankees aren't interested in a fourth year.

Another update: apparently by the collective bargaining agreement, no team can refuse to meet with a player's agent. And so this whole "Scott Boras is not involved" thing is basically untrue. Damn this is fun.


  1. Earl... A+ on the photo! Nice work. Where did you pull that one from? Did you search google images for Arod begging?

  2. Thanks man. It's from

    Seriously. The picture is from a celebrity poker tournament he hosted. (Jay-Z, whom I cropped out, is to his right.)

  3. Wow... that is insane. I feel dirty now after looking through

  4. There should be a name that caption contest for it.

    I really don't think it is option 1 - if he really wanted to stay, he would have waited at least until the 10 days were up.

    Option 2 sounds perfect. Moreno has said something like "$200MM over 8 years tops since there are no other offers" so they need to get NY back in.

    It could be like a WWF storyline - he talks to them to get them back in. Then he pulls off the friendly A-Rod mask and reveals that it really is Scott Boras.

    I agree with Earl that I don't want him on the Sox, but would prefer he be in ANA or better yet, SF.

    I'm not sure he really made a mistake. The numbers aren't in yet. Basically the Yanks were going to add 5 years at $30MM per to the $81 from the old deal. Its not a mistake if he gets more or if he just wanted out of NY, period.

    The agents commission would be a messy fight. I thought the standard percentage was 5 or 6, either way, its a huge number. I guess A-Rod could have a case if he files the proper paperwork and also demonstrated he got some bad info/advice. Conversely Boras could make a case that he should get a cut of at least the $81 MM in the old contract. Crap like this usually gets settled, but there have been some cases that have made the news - Pavano allegedly got into it with his agent over their commission since the agent told Carl it was a $40/4 offer when it reality it was on $39.95. And Pavano felt an injustice was done. And last year Carlos Lee flip flopped a few times to and from Boras, not sure what happened there. Barring a stunning contract (i.e., less than the old one in AAV), I think Boras will be fine. He'll spin it some way and A-rod will still be the highest paid player. The only way Boras would take a hit is if A-Rod called him out in public - definitely not going to happen. Varitek bitch slapped him on National TV and A-Rod never said a bad word about him.

    No matter what, this is sure fun to follow.

  5. I'll tell you what...The Yankees have no balls if they sign this guy back.

    1. They said that if he pulled this crap that there would be no negotiations with him.

    2. If they sign him now, they are going to pay him a lot more money, even if he resigns at his old dollars (which he won't, he'll get more) because they've lost the Texas money.

    3. I sort of hope he resigns with New York. He is a good villain (Smacky McBlueLips). It is a reason to right off the bat not like the new Steinbrenner regime. It is another reason to look at Cashman as "not as great as everyone thinks he is". And finally, I would love to hear all the Yankees fans who clocked A-Rod with insults on the way out, do the massive about face and love him on the way in...

    I do not want him on the Sox...just to weigh in on that.

  6. I agree with you on points 3 and 4, but I'm not sure about 1 and 2:

    1) maybe I'm overestimating the li'l Steinbrenners, but their insistence on not having him back could've been a clever negotiating trick - maybe they knew no one would meet Boras's $350M asking price, so said this to lower his price later. Because...

    2) if he goes back to the Yanks, it's likely it'll be at a discount. If initial reports are right (a big if), the final offer looks to be $27M/year for 10 years. Which is about what they were going to pay anyway for the first 3 years (since TEX was throwing in ~$6-7M/year), and a little less than their offer for the years after that.

    (Also, the caption is obvious: PRAY-ROD.)

  7. is about what they were going to pay...but it is more.

    Also, the quote might have been a negotiating tactic, but it was very public. I actually had mild admiration for the new regime standing up to A-Rod. But it appears like A-Rod will get his money (not the Boras money) and the new regime has no sack.

    I don't have a caption but A-Rod's thoughts go like this,"God, give me my money and I promise that I won't ever opt out of another contract during the World Series. I can't promise about immediately following the game, but definitely not during it....Unless my agent tells me to."

  8. Pray-rod is a good caption. For the life of me I can't come up with another.

    I really don't know what to make of this situation.

    I don't like the fact that it looks like he will be back on the Yankees.

    I do enjoy the fact that he had to fall on his sword.

    I'd love to see him turn around and use this to negotiate with the Angels.

    I'd hate to see him quietly sign this and pull a Peyton Manning (e.g. win it all)

  9. Okay, maybe I'm confused about the Yankees' earlier offer. My understanding is that they offered him a 5 year, $150M extension. He would've had to finish out the current contract first, and was still owed $91M (Buster Olney says $81M, but since the current contract has only paid out $159M so far, I think he's wrong). The Rangers were to pay $21M of that, so the Yanks needed to pay $70M over 3 years.

    So originally they were willing to pay $220M over 8 years, or $27.5M/year. Some bargaining could've easily added to that, but let's assume that was the final offer.

    So if the current rumors are true, at $27-28M/year, it's a wash for the Yankees - the current offer is very close to the old one. With two big differences:

    1) 10 years instead of 8. (Might actually be a good thing for the Yanks, given he'll probably be going after Bonds's all-time HR record then)

    2) Yanks pay the same, but A-Rod gets less, because of the loss of the Rangers money. With the Yanks' original offer, he would've averaged $30M/year. He's getting a couple million less than that.

  10. Right, so the Yankees pay 4MM/year more over the next 3 years (averaged), and resign him for 27-28MM/year for 5 more (when they claimed that they wouldn't deal with him if he opted out...which he did after their offer).

    Now, 27-28MM/year is better than the 30 they were offering. Very true. But, this sets a tone for their organization that they don't mean what they say when it comes to big names (and for a team that almost exclusively goes for the big names, that's not good).

    Basically, what A-Rod did was get more money up front and a huge contract for the rest of his career. He held the Yankees over a barrel and they budged. Did he get the 30? No, but he got more money now AND an extension at still the biggest money in the game.

  11. The way they'll spin it is: "We said we wouldn't pursue him as a free agent if he opts out. And we didn't - he came back to us, and basically opted back in. We had nothing to do with it. Like we said, we want only players who want to be Yankees - and now he's shown he wants to be a Yankee."

    Sure, it's spin, but it's reasonable, and in my view they don't come out looking too bad in the process.

    So A-Rod gets more money what. He still gets 10% less per year, which is sort of a big deal I think. I agree that the extra 2 years are a big plus for him - but my guess is 3 weeks ago he and Boras could have said "add 2 more years at the same rate - $30M/year - and you got yourself a deal", and the Yanks would've said yes. Then he gets a 10-year deal at $30M/year, $20-$30M more then this new contract is shaping up to be.

    But whatever - we're talking about an insanely huge amount of money versus a slightly more insanely huge amount of money. It doesn't make much difference to them, I guess. I still think the main person who comes out of this looking bad is Boras.

  12. Boras is always going to loook bad. That's his job and he signs up for it with every client. If any of these numbers are true, he will be able to claim that his client got the highest contract ever. From a team that said they wouldn't pursue him. Plus eventually the numbers will come out that the Yankess $270MM was $XXMM higher than the highest other offer, where $XX is something really large (like 70-90).

    One thing missing (or maybe even backward from the numbers above is the window dressing that the Yankees will do to make it look even more like they didn't give in and lose the TEX money. I'm sure they will structure any deal with A-Rod "only" making $18-19MM in the first three years (the amount they would have paid under the old contract). And higher payments at the end of the contract - and A-Rod will say he took less money (in these earlier years as sacrificie/commitment).

    But really any talk of savings/discounts is like a car sticker price or better yet going into one of those Persian Rug dealers, where the rug is originally $10,000 but the guy will give it to you for $3,500.

    But really none of this surprises me. From the post on the sox WS win:

    My comment - "Even through all their proclamations about not being involved in bidding, I bet the Yanks get back in the bidding."

  13. X: No, I mean looking bad at what he does. The only way this whole "opt-out without talking to the Yankees first" thing was going to work out for him was if A-Rod did indeed get a better offer elsewhere. I've said this for a while and I still believe it: it's looking more and more like he made a mistake. Because of his tactics, his client may be getting less money than he could have. This is basically the worst thing an agent can do, and so it could affect his reputation among players. His reputation among owners - which was apparently reasonably positive not too long ago - is probably shot as well.

    Then again, Tyler Kepner reports the contract could be worth $300M - in that case, never mind. Maybe the guy's a genius.

  14. According to this:
    Rodriguez's decision means that the Rodriguez is owed $27 million in each of the final three seasons -- with the Yankees responsible for $50.7 million and the Rangers owing $30.3 million, including $9 million in deferred money.

    The Yankees were planning to offer A-Rod a contract extension of five years and about $135 million to $140 million.

    That is the Yankees first offer...
    So they owed him 51MM over three years (17MM/year) and planned on 27MM the rest of the way out. Essentially, A-Rod stands to make at least another 30MM because of this, with the Yankees paying all of it.

    Also, Hank said this:
    "We're not going to back down. It's goodbye."

    "It's clear he didn't want to be a Yankee"

    And specifically on OPTING OUT:
    "I don't think there's any secret that we want A-Rod to stay," Hank Steinbrenner had said Friday. "But it's also not a secret that Brian (Cashman) made it clear a long time ago, and I've made it clear after him: if they opt out, goodbye."

  15. There's still something screwy with the numbers - A-Rod's been paid "only" $160M, and they're saying he's owed $ where's the last $10M?

    Anyway, Buster Olney reports the initial Yankee offer was $150M for 5 years, so the offer is not well known.

    I agree the Yankees said they wouldn't go back, and clearly they broke their word. But does any MLB player really care? So long as they write bigger checks than anyone else, players are going to keep wanting to sign with them. It's worked for George Steinbrenner for decades, and my guess is it'll continue with his sons.

  16. My point on them going back is that it is probably good news for the Sox. Now every Yankees player (or player negotiating with the Yankees)is not going to believe the hype.

    They've just taken over for George and look like liars already.

    I still am very much waiting to see how the Yankees fans react to the return of A-Rod...I happened to be in NJ immediately following the WS (and his opt out) and EVERYONE was killing the guy. Sports shows, devoted fans, bandwagoners, etc...

  17. Well, "liars" seems a bit strong, but I get your point. They've let people know they're still willing to pay the $$$$ even if they say they're not. Which will make the next 30 or so offseasons really interesting.

    And totally agree with you about Yanks fans and A-Rod. Of course, that was another big reason not to want to have him on the Sox - there'd be plenty of hypocrisy on this side as well.

  18. And the fan reaction won't be known for at least 11 months. He could say all the right moves (I love NY, I made a mistake, the Yankees and their fans are the greatest in the whole world, etc - actually he WILL say all that stuff), he could hit 60 HR, drive in 170 runs, get standing O's all summer, and if he goes 2-24 with one RBI in a division series loss, they will be killing the guy all winter.

    Think about this - who will get a bigger home standing O on opening day. JD Drew or A-Rod. I can't say with 100% certainty that it will be Drew, but I wouldn't bet against it. If I had even hinted at this on say, September 14, noone would believe it.

  19. That is an interesting point X. However, if Mike & Mike are any indication, the Yankee fans will happily embrace U-Rod back into the fold. Greenie, related a story about his son being so happy to see the news that U-rod was going to be a Yankee again. The image of 1,000s of little Yankee fans cheering for an egomaniac like U-Rod nearly made me drive off the road. When Greenie admitted that his sons comments made him feel better about the situation, even though he felt it was badly mishandled made we switch the channel.

    Honestly, at this point I have trouble understanding how you could cheer for some one so selfish as U-Rod.

    Granted, we have Beli-cheat up in these neck of the woods, who by my understanding is pretty much a controlling egomaniac. Still I can stand behind a mad-scientist more than a prima donna.

    Ah... the wonders of life's little contradictions.