Bye Bye A-Rod: Star Opts Out of Contract

Bye Bye A-Rod: Star Opts Out of Contract

Bye Bye A-Rod: Star Opts Out of Contract

DENVER (AP) -- Alex Rodriguez and agent Scott Boras picked quite a time for their big announcement. Smack in the middle of Game 4 of the World Series, Boras ended months of speculation and said A-Rod is opting out of the final three seasons of his contract with the New York Yankees.

Oh, and Boras let the Yankees know by leaving a voice mail for general manager Brian Cashman.

"Kind of strange timing," Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said after Boston completed its sweep of Colorado.

Red Sox fans sure took notice fast. After their team won the title for the second time in four seasons, they stood behind the visitors' dugout at Coors Field and chanted: "Don't sign A-Rod!"

In a decision that likely ends four tumultuous and unfulfilling seasons with the Yankees, Rodriguez forfeited $72 million he was owed over the final three seasons of his record $252 million, 10-year deal, which he signed with Texas before the 2001 season. The Yankees lose $21.3 million in remaining payments from the Rangers, a subsidy agreed to at the time of his 2004 trade.

New York, which failed to make the World Series in all of Rodriguez's seasons, has said it would not attempt to re-sign A-Rod if he opted out.

Could A-Rod wind up in Boston?

"We're staying out of that discussion," Lucchino said.

Said David Ortiz: "Man, I never would walk away from $150 million."

Boras said he attempted to notify Cashman of the decision but couldn't reach him, so he left the voice mail.

"He was traveling and I was traveling," Boras said.

Boras said during a telephone interview that Rodriguez made his choice because he was uncertain whether Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte would return to the Yankees. Boras said it became clear that the others wouldn't make a decision by Rodriguez's deadline to opt out - 10 days after the World Series.

"Alex's decision was one based on not knowing what his closer, his catcher and one of his statured pitchers was going to do," Boras said. "He really didn't want to make any decisions until he knew what they were doing."

Cashman did not respond to messages seeking comment.

A-Rod, likely to win his third AL MVP award next month, made his decision before the Yankees announced a replacement for departed manager Joe Torre. Broadcaster Joe Girardi and bench coach Don Mattingly were the top contenders, and the team also interviewed first-base coach Tony Pena.

A Yankees official and an agent who deals regularly with the team said it appears Cashman was leaning toward recommending Girardi. The pair spoke on condition of anonymity because no decision has been announced.

Texas turns out to be the biggest winner, saving the remaining money it would have had to pay New York as part of the trade. Boras said the Rangers are still responsible for $3 million in annual deferred money A-Rod is owed in the next three years under the contract.

"We're going to wait until we hear officially, but obviously it would be welcome news on our end," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Rodriguez hit .314 this year and led the majors with 54 homers and 156 RBI. He was announced as a winner of a Hank Aaron award for offensive achievement before Game 4 but wasn't on hand to receive it. Boras said Rodriguez had a family commitment.

New York was preparing to offer Rodriguez a four- or five-year extension worth between $25 million and $30 million annually and had hoped to meet with A-Rod to present the offer.

"We didn't want to enter in a discussion of the economic parameters until we knew the status of players because that was central to Alex's decision," Boras said.

Rodriguez's decision was first reported by SI.com.

Another Boras client, J.D. Drew, opted out of his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers following the 2006 season and signed a more lucrative deal with the Red Sox. Boras and Boston denied they spoke before Drew became a free agent.

The Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels and even the New York Mets could be possible destinations for Rodriguez. Teams have declined to comment, citing tampering rules that prevent them from discussing players who aren't free agents.

While the Yankees said they would be done with Rodriguez if he opted out, Boras said he remains willing to talk with them.

"The lines of communication for us are open," he said. "Our position is that we have told New York all along that we will continue discussions with them. Alex enjoyed playing in New York. He played well there. He was comfortable there."

But now it appears he will leave, with the Yankees joining the Seattle Mariners and Texas as former teams for a player who outperformed all others during the regular season but flopped regularly in the postseason.

A-Rod went 4-for-15 (.267) with one RBI against in the Yankees' first-round playoff loss to Cleveland and is in an 8-for-59 (.136) postseason funk dating to 2004. Even worse has been his postseason hitting in the clutch. He is hitless in his past 18 playoff at-bats with runners in scoring position.

New York, entering its first season with a new manager since Torre took over in 1996, will have to find offense to replace Rodriguez's RBI, a prospect that should be daunting for the new manager, whoever it is.

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Re: Bye Bye A-Rod: Star Opts Out of Contract

I'd like to see this fucker come to detroit. That would fill a shitload of seats

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Re: Bye Bye A-Rod: Star Opts Out of Contract

A-Rod in L.A.? Odds say yes
By Doug Padilla

You can bet on this: Alex Rodriguez will be playing for the Angels or Dodgers on Opening Day in 2008.

Really, you can bet on it. Now that Rodriguez has opted out of his lucrative New York Yankees contract to become a free agent, a proposition bet on where he might land is being offered by the gambling Web site www.bodoglife.com.

The site is giving 3-to-1 odds that Rodriguez will be wearing Angels red next season, the lowest odds on the board. Just behind the Angels are the Dodgers, coming in at 4-to-1 to land A-Rod.

Where the two-time MVP really ends up still is anybody's guess. Rodriguez is about to earn his third league MVP award in the coming weeks.

Adding to the speculation that A-Rod will land in Southern California is information from a former National League general manager who is still involved in the day-to-day operations of a major-league club. He has indicated that Rodriguez recently purchased property in the Orange County area.

The unsubstantiated information could mean that Rodriguez already has his sights on joining the Angels, Dodgers, or even the San Diego Padres. Or not. It could just mean that his Orange County-based agent, Scott Boras, found him a sweet deal on a long-term investment.

Handicapping these sweepstakes is sure to be tricky.

The Dodgers' chances of landing Rodriguez certainly have been altered with the news that the team is about to make Joe Torre their next manager. Rodriguez and
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Torre were together in the Bronx for the past four seasons. During that time, Rodriguez averaged 43 home runs and 128 RBIs per season.

Dodgers officials were unavailable for comment as they presumably tend to the Torre proceedings.

Speculation as to where Rodriguez will land next season has been going on all summer. It intensified during the deciding game of the World Series on Sunday night, when Boras officially said his client would opt out of his contract.

That means Rodriguez will walk away from a guaranteed $72 million. He had three years remaining on a record-breaking 10-year, $252 million deal Rodriguez signed with the Texas Rangers before the 2001 season.

According to reports, Major League Baseball on Monday received the letter that officially requested Rodriguez's release from the deal. The opt-out clause was written into the contract.

The Angels have made it no secret that they are interested in upgrading their offensive attack. But as dominating as he can be, Rodriguez might not fit into their plans.

Angels owner Arte Moreno has repeatedly said that even though he respects Rodriguez as a player, he has no interest in placing 25 percent of the team's payroll in the hands of one player. Indications are that Rodriguez could be seeking anywhere from $200 million to $240 million over eight seasons.

Asked about Rodriguez at the conclusion of the season, manager Mike Scioscia did not sound as if he is expecting to pencil Rodriguez's name in the 2008 lineup.

"I would speak to what Arte said, and I agree to what he says," new Angels general manager Tony Reagins said. "You want to position yourself to make your club better. For the club and the fans, if it makes sense then you will explore the opportunity."

This might not make sense, though.

"Obviously we will do things within reason," Reagins said, declining to speak about Rodriguez in particular. "There is not an endless bank here. It has to make economic sense and it has to make baseball sense."

According reports, the Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, New York Mets and San Francisco Giants are expected to be interested in Rodriguez along with the Angels and Dodgers.

Angels outfielder Tommy Murphy and right-hander Marc Gwyn were outrighted off the 40-man roster and are now minor-league free agents. Another spot on the Angels' 40-man roster was cleared when outfielder Nick Gorneault was claimed off outright waivers by the Texas Rangers.

www.dailynews.com

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