• Verducci: Alex & Boras Will Opt Out

    Posted by on August 22nd, 2007 · Comments (6)

    From Tom Verducci yesterday –

    Yankees GM Brian Cashman said the team can’t afford Alex Rodriguez without the $30,304,500 it is getting from Texas, a subsidy over the next three years that goes away if A-Rod opts out. I find that incredulous, which is why I said this to Cashman: “I’m assuming that Alex is going to be employed somewhere next year. So if he does opt out, you’re telling me the Yankees can’t afford Alex as a true free agent, but another franchise can?”

    “Uh, well, yes,” Cashman said.

    I mean, where is the franchise that can afford a player the Yankees can’t? Microsoft? I understand it’s part of a negotiating game to keep Alex and the Texas money. But to borrow from former umpire Durwood Merrill, Scott Boras didn’t just fall off the back of a turnip truck.

    Let me get this straight: The Yankees want the most aggressive agent in the business to swear off the last shot at free agency for the most valuable commodity in baseball at a time when a $6 billion industry is flush with gobs of cash? And we’re to believe that $30 million — which is $3.75 million per year, assuming a five-year extension or eight-year deal — suddenly is prohibitive to the Yankees? The only way Boras doesn’t put his client on the market is if the Yankees throw some really stupid money at A-Rod, the kind of money no other franchise can dish out.

    We’ll soon see.

    Rodriguez has until 10 days after the World Series – November 10th the latest – to opt out of the contract. That’s 80 days from today.

    Let the countdown begin.

    Comments on Verducci: Alex & Boras Will Opt Out

    1. Raf
      August 22nd, 2007 | 4:56 pm

      John Brattain has been saying ARod’s going to opt out for quite some time now

      Not that there’s anything wrong with that – August 17, 2007

      Brainwashing by Boras – June 22, 2007

      Shea It Ain’t So? – March 09, 2007

    2. j
      August 22nd, 2007 | 5:42 pm

      I think this is all posturing.

      If Cashman says the Yankees won’t be after him if he opts out, then the teams that are very interested in him (BOS, LAA, NYM, LAD perhaps) use that fact to develop the market price for him. Forget what Soriano got, he’s basically worth what people will pay for him, and they won’t pay as much if they know they don’t have to compete against the Yankees.

      That being said, I still don’t think ARod will opt out. I think Cashman will sign him to an extension that puts the money that he thinks he deserves in his pocket, because at the end of the day, it’s Texas that gets screwed because of the contract they initiated. Yes, the Yankees have a tradition of not negotiating extensions with players currently under contract – but to my knowledge, a situation like this has not existed before for the Yankees.

      Also – and I consider this is a factor most people are seriously undervaluing – if ARod and Cashman can work out an extension, you’re basically guaranteeing that ARod spends the rest of his career, and the majority of it when it’s said and done, as a Yankee. He’s already got his 500th HR as a Yankee – you can probably add 3000th hit, and record breaking homeruns (single season or all time if it comes to that.) The Yankees are also one of the only teams that are in the pennant chase every year. If Alex is concerned about his legacy, he’ll bend a little too and stay in New York. The flip side – he goes to another highest bidder and is, and rightfully so, labeled a mercenary, and that becomes his legacy.

      Frankly, I hope Alex stays for 2 reasons. First, he’s awesome and replacing his production would be impossible. Second, it’d be a way for him to stick it to everyone whose written badly about him in the past 4 years. Everyone is so sure he’ll walk – I’d love for him to say “I stayed because _______, which you guys never got, which makes sense because you’re typically wrong about me.” Perhaps not in those words, but his actions would speak them, I think.

    3. jonm
      August 22nd, 2007 | 5:54 pm

      “We’ll soon see” is exactly right. If ARod doesn’t opt out and does re-sign, what are the odds that Verducci shows some accountability and acknowledges that he was wrong?

      J is right about ARod being hard to replace. Without ARod, the Yankee line-up would be composed of one star in his prime, Robinson Cano, two decent young hitters who are not middle-of-the- order types (Melky and Wilson Betemit) and seven guys who are all one year older and all past the normal age of peak seasons. The only way to replace ARod’s production would be by paying a king’s ransom and getting Miguel Cabrera.

    4. bobo
      August 22nd, 2007 | 6:58 pm

      Everyone who doesn’t understand the situation says he’ll opt out. $30M IS a lot of money. Maybe not to the Yankees over X years, but it still is.

      $30M from Texas lets the Yankees over above market value, while paying below market value for ARod. It’s that simple. If he doesn’t opt-out, he makes more than he would as a FA, and the Yankees pay less than they’d pay if he were a FA.

      The only way he opts out is if he doesn’t want to play in NY. Say he goes 0 for 14 in the ALDS, the Yankees lose, and he’s booed of the field. They both decide it’s best to part ways.

    5. bobo
      August 22nd, 2007 | 7:17 pm

      My last comment should have read “$30M from Texas lets the Yankees offer above market value…”

      Anyway, yes, it’s a negotiating ploy, but what Cashman’s saying is that the NY’s offer for an extension will be more than they will offer if he opts out. Isn’t that just basic logic? They get $30M for free, so the offer including that $30M will be higher than the offer not including the $30M. Right? What am I missing? Why is this news?

      Assuming nothing disasterous happens this year (see my last post), the Yankees WILL make a very competitive offer. They will certainly offer an extension where ARod will average $30M per year over the next, say, 7 years. That would mean a 4 year, $129M extension. The Yankees would be paying $180M over the next 7 years, or $25.7M a year.

      So say he rejects it and becomes a free agent, because he thinks he can get more that $30M a year. The Yankees are then going to go and say “ok, fine – you called our bluff” – we’ll now offer you $35M per year (completely out of our own pockets”? No way.

      They’ll make their best offer with the Texas money. If it’s not good enough, how could anyone reasonably expect them to top it WITHOUT the Texas money? Boras knows this.

      The ONLY way he signs with the Yankees as a FA is if Boras drastically overestimates the market for ARod. Yanks offer $30M per year, ARod opts out, but can’t get even that much. Yankees say “ok, you could have had $30M, now we’ll offer $27M per year”, and maybe that’s the best offer on the table, and he takes it.

      Unlikely though. 90% chance he signs an extension with the Yankees.

      Again, this is not news.

    6. August 23rd, 2007 | 8:50 am

      I am incredulous that neither Tom Verducci nor his editors know the difference between “incredible” and “incredulous.”

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