SBD/Issue 47/Franchises

Yankees, A-Rod Reportedly Near Deal; Scott Boras Not Involved

Rodriguez Holds Contract Talks
With Yankees Without His Agent
Free agent 3B Alex Rodriguez and his wife met yesterday with Yankees Senior VP Hank Steinbrenner and Yankee Global Enterprises Chair Hal Steinbrenner in Tampa without agent Scott Boras, and a deal “could soon be in place that would pay Rodriguez about $270[M] for the next 10 years,” according to Kepner & Chass of the N.Y. TIMES. Acting on the advice of Boras, Rodriguez opted out of his previous contract, but he “recently informed the Yankees through common friends at Goldman Sachs that he was reconsidering his stance.” While Boras is advising Rodriguez in the talks, he is “not dealing personally with the Yankees.” Hank Steinbrenner said, “That’s completely up to the player. … I, at no time, told Boras he can’t be there.” The “lukewarm market” Rodriguez has found for his services during the free agent period so far was "one of the reasons Rodriguez came back to the Yankees, and another was his business empire," including a real-estate business, a Mercedes-Benz dealership and various endorsements, as he “believes he can maximize those assets by staying a Yankee” (N.Y. TIMES, 11/15). In N.Y., George King reports Modell’s Sporting Goods CEO Mitch Modell is thought to be the third party through which Rodriguez contacted the Yankees. Rodriguez “hasn’t divorced himself” from Boras, and a team official said that a report saying the Yankees "don't want to negotiate with Boras ... wasn’t true.” The official added telling an agent he cannot be part of the negotiating process is “against the rules” (N.Y. POST, 11/15).

IS A DEAL IMMINENT? SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports a ten-year, $280M contract, that can reach over $300M with incentives, “is expected to be completed in the next day or two” (SI.com, 11/15). A source said that terms of a deal “have been reached, although contract language still must be hammered out before anything can be made official.” A Yankees official said that he believes Rodriguez is “trying to restore his image, which has taken a beating” since he opted out (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/15). YES Network announcer John Sterling cited a source as saying the deal is “done, or it’s going to get done.” Sterling added Rodriguez “admitted that it was a mistake to opt out of the contract, and that they should have signed with the Yankees right away” (XM Radio, 11/14).

Many Feel Boras 
Mishandled A-Rod Situation
EMBARRASSING DEVELOPMENT FOR BORAS: ESPN’s Buster Olney said the Yankees “cannot, by baseball rules, push the agent aside, but there’s no question the way this has played out, it’s a tremendous hit for Scott Boras within the industry. … Other agents and executives really believe Scott misplayed the situation” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 11/14).  In N.Y., Murray Chass writes that unless Rodriguez is conspiring with Boras, he is “repudiating Boras by letting the team know he would negotiate a contract without him.” Rodriguez “clearly came to the conclusion that he had made a mistake and had accepted bad advice from Boras” (N.Y. TIMES, 11/15). In L.A., Bill Shaikin writes under the header “Boras Deals With Embarrassment.” Boras opened Rodriguez up to “ridicule by announcing his free agency during the final game of the World Series, a dramatic step toward a $300[M] offer that never surfaced, at least not publicly.” Smith College sports economist Andrew Zimbalist said, “Not only was it a misread of the market, it was a complete strategic blunder to put A-Rod in that situation” (L.A. TIMES, 11/15). In Hartford, Jeff Jacobs writes Boras "made such an ass of himself announcing that A-Rod was opting out [during the World Series] that even he apologized afterward."  Boras also made a "bad chess move refusing to meet with the Yankees" after the club offered a five-year extension in October (HARTFORD COURANT, 11/15). 

BORAS' INVOLVEMENT: However, on Long Island, Wallace Matthews writes under the header, “A-Rod’s Call To Yankees Just A Negotiating Ploy.” Matthews: “When it comes time to really talk dollars, you can bet Scott Boras will be involved” (NEWSDAY, 11/15). Boston Globe columnist Jackie MacMullan: “There’s no way this deal gets done without Boras in the room” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 11/14). WFAN’s Sweeny Murti said the Yankees will "talk directly to Alex, when they make the money offer. And what Alex is going to do, he obviously needs some legal advice, so he’s going to talk to Scott on his own and just kind of work some numbers here and there. But Scott is not going to directly talk to the Yankees and drive this bus anymore” ("Mike & the Mad Dog, YES, 11/14).

THE NEW YANKEES HIERARCHY: In N.Y., John Harper writes under the header, “Hank Steinbrenner’s Stance Caught A-Rod, Boras Off Guard.” The “one development that [Rodriguez] didn’t see coming, the one that caused him to finally stand up to [Boras] and go looking to make things right with the Yankees, was the emergence of Hank Steinbrenner as the new Boss.” A source who talked to Rodriguez said, “Boras had been telling him not to worry about what [GM] Brian Cashman was saying about the opt-out, partly because they knew they had [Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner] on their side. But then Alex saw the shift in power, with the Steinbrenner sons taking over, and here was Hank saying ‘Goodbye, we don’t want you if you don’t want to be a Yankee’” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/15).  MLB.com’s Mike Bauman wrote if Rodriguez re-signs with the Yankees, it “will signal that the younger Steinbrenner generation, … apparently now in power, will be every bit as aggressive as their father in pursuing talent” (MLB.com, 11/14). In N.Y., Mike Vaccaro writes, “No one was willing to play poker with Boras, and that is surely the biggest reason A-Rod sought out the Steinbrenner family.” Sources said that Rodriguez “was stunned at the ugly backlash that greeted the news he was opting out” (N.Y. POST, 11/15). In N.Y., George Vecsey writes Boras “went too far, and Rodriguez did not seem to understand any of the implications of putting the squeeze on the Yankees” (N.Y. TIMES, 11/15).

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