Alex Rodriguez took an end run around his agent and it looks like he made out pretty good in the process:
NEW YORK (AP) — Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees have agreed to the outline of a record 10-year, $275 million contract, a deal that potentially would allow him to earn millions more if he sets the career home run record.
The amount of the guaranteed money was revealed by a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been finalized. A-Rod and his wife met Wednesday in Tampa, Fla., with brothers Hal and Hank Steinbrenner, but the parameters of the agreement were set in place last weekend.
“The meeting was a final get-together,” Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner said. “He wanted to make sure myself and my brother knew that he was sincere and serious.”
The Yankees still must draft the agreement with Rodriguez’s agent, Scott Boras. Asked whether the only remaining details were putting the deal on paper, Steinbrenner responded: “pretty much so.”
As the story goes on to say, the negotiations between the Yankees and Rodriguez unfolded pretty quickly and had started within a week after his agent Scott Boras announced that he had opt-ed out of his contract.
Above all else, this tells me that Rodriguez wants to stay a Yankee. If Boras had really started a bidding war for A-Rod, teams like the Dodgers, Angels, and Red Sox would have quickly jumped on board and bid the price up. Rodriguez didn’t even let that process start.
Also interesting are the incentives that will be part of the contract if/when Rodriguez breaks Barry Bonds’ now-tainted home run record:
The sides still are working on putting together a provision that would allow Rodriguez to share revenue created by his pursuit of the career home record held by Barry Bonds, who was indicted Thursday on perjury and obstruction charges. A-Rod has 518 homers, 244 shy of the mark.
“The Yankees have never had a player since Babe Ruth that really had a 100 percent chance” of setting the record, Steinbrenner said. “[Mickey] Mantle should have, but he had too many injuries. It’s a historical achievement bonus more than it is an incentive bonus. There is no yearly incentive bonus.”
Let’s put it this way. As of yesterday, Barry Bonds’ baseball career is over. If Rodriquez stays healthy, he will most assuredly break Bonds’ record sometime in the next decade. And he will do so as a New York Yankee. The new Yankee Stadium could come to be known as the House That A-Rod Built.
And a final note, this is best news I’ve had as a fan since the season ended. With Torre gone and the Steinbrenner clan back in full control, I was preparing myself for the worst. That may still happen, but even if the Yankees are in the cellar of the AL East next year, at least there will be something to cheer for.