Alex Rodriguez, the greatest regular season player in baseball today, has decided to opt out of his 10-year $252 million contract with the New York Yankees, according to his agent Scott Boras. The ex-Yankees third baseman was due to make $72 million over the next three years and also apparently rejected a 5-year $150 million extension that the Yankees were set to offer him, trumping the previous record for a per-year salary in the game.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had previously stated that if Rodriguez opted out of his deal, the Yankees would not be at the bargaining table against other teams. Because of that point, many believed that the most money would come from the Yankees and therefore Rodriguez would take it. In the end, the money wasn’t enough.
“It’s clear he didn’t want to be a Yankee,” Hank Steinbrenner told the New York Daily News. “He doesn’t understand the privilege of being a Yankee on a team where the owners are willing to pay $200 million to put a winning product on the field. I don’t want anybody on my team that doesn’t want to be a Yankee.”
Though he had until 10 days following the end of the World Series, Rodriguez apparently made his decision before the Series even ended. It’s not apparent who will be the leading candidates to sign the regular-season slugger, but it’s clear now that it will not be the Yankees. Whoever it is, Boras thinks there is someone out there who could trump the 8-years $230 million that the Yankees were willing to give the slugger.
Boras noted that the uncertainty with the Yankees managerial situation, as well as the stances of free agents Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte contributed to Rodriguez’s decision. I don’t buy that for a second, as Rodriguez still has 10 days to consider his options and the Yankees are expected to make their decision regarding their new manager early this week. Additionally, it’s expected the Yankees will offer Rivera and Posada 3-year $40 million contracts each, which should be enough to keep both players in pinstripes for the rest of their careers.
The Yankees are now in search of a third baseman for the first time since they last won the World Series, when Aaron Boone was a major contributor to the ball club in October (something Rodriguez was completely unable to duplicate). Because it’s the Yankees, one can assume that some of the best third basemen in baseball will be on their target list, most notably Miguel Cabrera from the Florida Marlins. Though he is a major liability with his glove, his bat may be enough to overcome that factor. Additionally, Joe Girardi, who appears to be the front-runner for the Yankees managerial position, managed Cabrera in Florida when he won the NL Manager of the Year.