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Red Sox Will Pursue A-Rod This Winter

According to Bill Madden and Mark Feinsand, the Red Sox will make a "huge push" for Alex Rodriguez this winter if he opts out of his contract.  The New York Daily News writers heard this from multiple sources.

Madden and Feinsand's source seems to indicate the push for A-Rod would be driven by team president and CEO Larry Lucchino.  In other words, this wil go past Theo Epstein (Buster Olney indicated today that he'd be loathe to tie up 20% of the payroll in one player).

The Red Sox entered 2007 with a $143MM payroll, up $23MM from 2006.  Here are the major changes we can expect for 2008:

Additions:
$2MM more for Manny Ramirez
$1MM more for Julio Lugo
$2MM more for Daisuke Matsuzaka
$3.5MM more for Josh Beckett
$1.25MM more for Coco Crisp

An additional $9.75MM in escalating salaries

Subtractions:
$13MM for Curt Schilling
9.5MM for Matt Clement
$9MM for Mike Lowell
$2.81MM for Eric Hinske
$4MM for Joel Pineiro
$2.8MM for Mike Timlin

$41.11MM off the books

The Red Sox are essentially gaining $31MM to play with for 2008, if they are to keep payroll around $143MM.  That gels nicely with the expected salary of Rodriguez.  And the team isn't overflowing with needs - they could conceivably just replace Schilling with Clay Buchholz and keep Julian Tavarez around as the fifth starter.  And maybe they'll toss another $6MM or so toward crappy veteran relievers.  The trio of Papelbon, Okajima, and Delcarmen could be cheap and effective. 

Bottom line: the Red Sox could sign A-Rod this winter and enter 2008 with a reasonable $150MM payroll (less than a 5% increase and still far less than the Yankees).

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Comments

I'm sure Boras will be urging him to opt out.

As a Yankee fan I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. A-Rod is becoming this generations Roger Clemens. A truly phenomenal athlete bound for the hall with no real attachment to any team. I feel like it's becoming more and more apparent that the Yanks need to trade A-Rod now.

-Jason Comack
http://3rdstringsafety.blogspot.com/

What benefit would it be to Arod to approve a trade? He has a full no-trade.

Then, even if he agreed to a deal what would a team give up to get him for 2 1/2 months before he opts out? Not much at all.

This is interesting. I'm glad A-Rod is opting out honestly but if he continues to bounce around like this, I'm really curious what team he'll end up in the hall with.

and I agree with RICH, A-Rod is staying put until the end of the year. The Yanks are still trying to contend and I'm sure their asking price would be way too much for half a season.

Actually quite a bit.

Who said anything about a trade?

An interesting calculation. On the plus side, Buchholz and Lester could replace Schilling and Tavarez, so that's a little more money saved. One may presume that A-Rod replaces Lowell, but what happens if A-Rod expresses a desire to return to shortstop? Then Lugo becomes a 95% salary dump, an even more expensive mistake than Rent-A-Wreck, and the Sox would be forced to outbid the Yankees for Lowell, too (assuming they don't move Youk across the diamond).

Anyway - I'd have hard time rooting for A-Rod but since I do "root for the laundry", I guess I'd get over it. Oh, and one other thing - I don't think Coco's salary will go up by a million; he will be sent away to make room for Ellsbury.

"An interesting calculation. On the plus side, Buchholz and Lester could replace Schilling and Tavarez, so that's a little more money saved. One may presume that A-Rod replaces Lowell, but what happens if A-Rod expresses a desire to return to shortstop? Then Lugo becomes a 95% salary dump, an even more expensive mistake than Rent-A-Wreck, and the Sox would be forced to outbid the Yankees for Lowell, too (assuming they don't move Youk across the diamond).

Anyway - I'd have hard time rooting for A-Rod but since I do "root for the laundry", I guess I'd get over it. Oh, and one other thing - I don't think Coco's salary will go up by a million; he will be sent away to make room for Ellsbury." ~DanTheRedSoxMan

I'll respond to your hypothetical to the hypothetical. Lugo has plenty of experience at 3B. If there was that ridiculous demand to play SS from A-Rod, Lugo can slide over to 3B. That eliminates the hypothetical worry of having to dump him for pennies on the dollar.

Wow, what a 3-4-5 combination (if they keep Manny). Letting Schilling go wouldn't upset me at all, in fact, I'm in favor of it. I'd love to see both Bucholz and Lester in the rotation, along with Beckett who'll be 27, Dice K, who'll be I think 27, and Wakefield who'll be 75. Ok maybe not 75, but 40ish and still very much effective. Should be an interesting offseason.

Please come here, A-Rod. We would love you!!!!

Don't forget that Manny comes off the books after 2008, which shaves off about $20MM ...having a bloated payroll for one season seems to make sense to just make sure that there is a good replacement for Manny when he is done.

I think the Red Sox are too cheap to pay Arod 30 million a year, but there's nothing like driving up the market value of Arod considerably and having him leave the division then feigning serious interest.

I have to ask guitar hero what makes you think the Red Sox are cheap? Most fans would think they are the complete opposite.

"The New York Daily News writers heard this from multiple sources"

Yea, Boras, Boras and Boras.

The Sox and Arod have already been down that road. They will NOT become the team paying him $30 million a year. You can take that to the bank.

"I'll respond to your hypothetical to the hypothetical. Lugo has plenty of experience at 3B. If there was that ridiculous demand to play SS from A-Rod, Lugo can slide over to 3B. That eliminates the hypothetical worry of having to dump him for pennies on the dollar."

Um, I don't know where you get your statistics but according to Baseball-Reference, out of 994 games, Lugo has played all of SIXTEEN games at 3B. He's played more games in the OUTFIELD than at 3B.

yeaa Sox will just keep Tavarez around, that would be bad to watch. His first half success came on "lightning in a bottle" In the end he's a wolf in sheeps clothing. Once he gets to the lineup the 2nd & 3rd times around its BP. IMO a better option would be keeping Wakefield around. Dump Mirabelli, and bring on the kid catcher Kottaras. In teh minors he had experience catching Steve Sparks with ease

Beckett
Matsuzaka
Bucholz
Lester
Wakefield

Problems are the sources were no one of note, lets face that. This article is speculation. The Red Sox haven't leaked anything in quite a while, Helton, Buehrle, Cordero, Lidge - all came out of those players cities.

Giving the lack of love between A-Rod, Boston, and some of Boston's players, it could be a difficult signing.

Plus Theo is interested in keeping the payroll sensible, and 30million dollars? you could keep Mike Lowell sign the best FA starter and get a pretty good reliever, with some change left over.

the only reason i believe arod is waiting until the season ends is to see if mark cuban buys the chicago cubs. If it happens, cuban would throw more money at him than steinbrenner would.

Uh, guys… Don’t you think Evil Empire is on the right track by saying this is probably just a ploy of some kind?

It more than likely started in the Boras office, but even if I’m the Sox I might tell the media flat out in a press conference that I am interested in A-Rod…

I mean, think about it… Arod thinks he can get a huge amount as both NY and Bos are interested in him. He opts out and the interest drives the cost up a ton. NY either signs him again fearing Bos could (this time paying him the full amount ~ Tex money gone) or lose him to another team. End results are the Yanks lose their best player or end up paying him way more than they once did just to keep him. A simple statement like that could end up hurting them in the lineup or the pocketbook big time ~ and although they have had a seemingly endless supply of money in the past, they have been trying to get a little smarter with it recently…

Boston being interested would really send NY into a frenzy… I think it would be a very smart move on their part to act interested, even if they weren’t. (and I really cant imagine they are)

Complete BS. Anything to get the Yankees to pay more is in the best interests of both the Red Sox and Boras, obviously.

Everyone that has a brain knows that it makes absolutely no sense for ARod to opt-out, as I've explained countless times (yet peculiarly nobody responds to). Since ARod staying with the Yankees is by far the most likely scenario, Boras is driving up his price, and Boston is hoping they pay as much as possible for an extension.

See Bobo, I understand you have given the breakdown saying how it is in Arods best interest not to opt-out, but I think the lack of comments on it mainly has to do with the fact that many just don’t believe it… Here is (I think) what most people feel…

Now, if he stays with his current contract he is paid 27m for the next 3 years then hits the FA market. It’s a “what if”, but if his numbers go down or he suffers an injury it might be difficult to get a better money/year deal in 3 years. Will he still be playing 3rd at that time? Will he have another season like 2006 or 2004 in 2011? He would only be guaranteed 81m in this scenario…

If he opts out now though, he is rumored to be in the 210m/7y range (30 a year). Do you really think he will be guaranteed to get at least 4y/130m (32.5 a year) at age 35 if he did have that injury or decline? I mean, he is at his absolute best if the rest of his year goes like the first half, his demand is probably at an all-time high… Worst-case scenario is he doesn’t have a team willing to go 210/7 so he says “ok, give me 90/3 then” and you know even more teams would be willing to spend that without the extreme long-term commitment ~ at which point he still ends up making more than he would over the next 3… In this scenario he is guaranteed that 210m or whatever he actually accepts…

It does make sense for the Yankees to try to extend him if they want to keep him long-term because of the money Tex is picking up ~ but does it make the most sense for him? If they offer him 130/4 or more added onto his current deal then yes, but who’s to say they will. He is the only one who knows what they are offering leading up to his walking, and if they don’t offer that then it is infact in his best interest to walk…

Regardless of any other factors, I think the Red Sox have to be looked at as more than just a possibility if A-Rod opts out. The Yankees said they're done if he does, so who else has the money/need for him? I think this one's a no brainer. As a Yankee fan, I hope he doesn't go there, but it's certainly a strong possibility.

I should correct that. There are other teams that have the money and need for him, but not too many.

You only need two have an auction - Yankees need not be one of them.

OK, i think he is going to stay with the Yanks, but you have to be retarded to think that not opting out is a better option to get him more money. His stock will NEVER get higher than right now. Not only is he still young, but he is having an amazing season. The only arguement to be made infavor of stay is the fact that his salary increase clause is now in effect so by 2008 he will be making over $30 million. But that still is stupid because he is not going to look at the yearly salary, he is going to look at the sum total. What would you want, $180 million+ or $90 million? It is not worth the risk. Not opting out only makes sense to the Yanks. There are WAY too many things that could happen to A-Rod between now and the end of his contract to make opting out not worth.

quintjs I dont know where you get your information, and yes Varitek may not like A-Rod but A-Rod and Ortiz are good friends and he is also very friendly with Manny. So I dont think they are going to have major chemistry issues.

darkstar1661, you make a good point BUT there is NO way A-Rod doesnt get more money this offseason. If he stays with the Yanks it will be with a contract extension. Also with special clauses in his contract in 2009, and 2010 he will probably be making 32 million. There is a clause that he gets a 5 Mil raise or 1 Mil more then the next highest player, and if that doesnt happen he has the right to opt out again.

So now we are looking at $91 million. If the Yanks give him a 3 yr 90 mil extension then hes gonna make 180 million over the next 6 years which is pretty much as much as hes gonna get from free ageny.

Lastly I dont get why A-Rod would go to the Red Sox anyway. The reason he wants to get away from NY is that the media is all over him. The Boston sports media is twice as obsessed with the Red Sox as the NY media is with the Yanks. If he comes to Boston hes also gonna be in the newspaper every day

"reason he wants to get away from NY is that the media is all over him."

That is the reason you hear given by the media.

Maybe he wants to get out of NY because he wants to win a ring, and doesnt feel like he has the best chance to do that in NY, maybe he thinks he can find manlier strippers in Boston, maybe the idea of having no more sleepovers with Jeter is breaking his heart and he just has to get away. Maybe he realizes that if he opts out he can break his own record for being the highest paid player ever, and the man wants to buy the Devil Rays.

How bout this A-rod signs on the D-Rays for league minumum for 10 years, but gets a 49% share of the team.

I hate this he can't handle the media crap. Really??? Poor widdle A-rod, having creepy little NY Post dueche bags ask him the tough questions isn't going to bother a man who gets into a batters box in front of 50,000 people 80 times a year and pounds a ball into the black.

He's a good looking multi millionaire who is better at his job than any of his peers. Yea a headline in the newspapers is gonna crush his spirit. He is not Manny or Vladdy who has avoided the media and attention his whole career, he is the exact opposite.

Never did I once say that not opting out AND becoming a FA in 3 years was good for him. Not opting out and signing an extension, either with the Yankees or a team they'll orchestrate a trade to, is by far his best option.

I really don't know what else I can say. I post the explanation why over and over again, and people won't respond, and keep going on about opting out. It's like I'm in the twilight zone. I am always for intelligent discussion, all I want is for someone to say "Hey Bobo, this is why I disagree with your explanation", and we can have a good discussion about.

Here it is again:

Because of the Texas $30M, ARod can get MORE between his current deal through 2010 and a 4-5 year extension (signed this year) than he would by opting out and becoming a FA for 2008. The Yankees, or his acquring team will pay LESS than they would if he were a free agent.

So let's say a team would give him $210/7 as a FA. Don't you think they'd rather give him a 4 year extension for $137M? They would be paying him $27.7M per season instead of $30M, and ARod would be making $32M per season. Explain how this does not work for everyone?

I agree that it's more complicated, and it would be harder to get that bidding war going when all of the discussions are sort of under the table. But Cashman can do it - it's in his best interests to get another team to spend as much as possible too.


Disagree? Let's hear it.

I do disagree. If A-rod is trade Texas is voided of the money they will be paying. I also have heard that if he signs a contract extension texas may be able to get the $30M back. I'm not positive about the second one, but i'm pretty sure about the first part. So working under what i believe, only the Yanks would be able to give him more money, but since they will have no one to bid against he wont get as much if he was in the open market. If i am wrong, which i could be, and teams are willing to pay him extra because of the money they would be saving, than your arguement makes a hell of a lot of sense. I just don't see why a team would give him extra, however, just because they would be saving.

Ripwa, I have never heard that about Tex not being on the hook if he's traded. Not saying its untrue, just haven't ever heard it before and it would come as a shock.


Bobo, I agree 100% with what you're saying, but there are two things you seem to be banking on as if its an absolute.

1) NY wants to extend him at 20 over the next 3 plus atleast 30+ over 2011-2015(?) ~ or even can...
2) NY can trade him.

See, let's say they do want him, but he doesn't want to be there... He walks and still gets his money

Let's say they do want to and he doesn't mind being there but rumors say he can get even more... He walks

And let's say they don't want to sign him and instead will trade him, can they find someone to give up the bounty?

Just because they get to save 10m a year over the next 3, is it worth the top prospects NY will demand? And why shouldn't they demand it, just so the trading team gets to save 30m?

So, let's say NY does need to trade him, where does he go? Maybe the Cubs with NY asking for Pie & maybe more? It then becomes a question as to what is worth more, saving 10 over the next 3 just to have to buy a CFer, or keeping Pie and signing Arod as a FA? So, do you like Arod+Pie or Arod+Byrnes since they would cost about the same?

Or let's do ATL. Salty+Arod or Arod+FA-1B?

Or maybe LA, would it cost them their 1B where it then costs 10+ to find a replacement...

Or maybe Ana, would it mean they need to sign a pitcher?

If you have the prospects to throw away just to save 10M over 3 then yeah it makes since, but the teams probably trading for him will need to either use that prospect or trade him to fill a bigger hole they can't find on the market easily. I mean we can safely assume it would be a contender or soon to contend team so the prospect would probably hold more value.

And then maybe NY lowers their asking price, why bother trading him for lesser prospects if they will get good draftpicks if he walks? He walks & you are looking at a 1st and 2nd round pick right ~ the return then has to be more than that so...

If Arod doesn't opt-out its really only in NYs interest. He opts out and he will get his money. He opts out and he gets to choose where he plays. He opts out and the bidding war might just surprise some.

If NY does offer him enough to stay and he actually wants to be there, then yeah he won't opt out ~ but if He/They don't then both really only have one smart option ~ just end the contract... Well in my mind atleast.

So, not sure if you agree or not, but if you don't then how do you see the trade being made?

Ripwa, I have never heard that about Tex not being on the hook if he's traded. Not saying its untrue, just haven't ever heard it before and it would come as a shock.


Bobo, I agree 100% with what you're saying, but there are two things you seem to be banking on as if its an absolute.

1) NY wants to extend him at 20 over the next 3 plus atleast 30+ over 2011-2015(?) ~ or even can...
2) NY can trade him.

See, let's say they do want him, but he doesn't want to be there... He walks and still gets his money

Let's say they do want to and he doesn't mind being there but rumors say he can get even more... He walks

And let's say they don't want to sign him and instead will trade him, can they find someone to give up the bounty?

Just because they get to save 10m a year over the next 3, is it worth the top prospects NY will demand? And why shouldn't they demand it, just so the trading team gets to save 30m?

So, let's say NY does need to trade him, where does he go? Maybe the Cubs with NY asking for Pie & maybe more? It then becomes a question as to what is worth more, saving 10 over the next 3 just to have to buy a CFer, or keeping Pie and signing Arod as a FA? So, do you like Arod+Pie or Arod+Byrnes since they would cost about the same?

Or let's do ATL. Salty+Arod or Arod+FA-1B?

Or maybe LA, would it cost them their 1B where it then costs 10+ to find a replacement...

Or maybe Ana, would it mean they need to sign a pitcher?

If you have the prospects to throw away just to save 10M over 3 then yeah it makes since, but the teams probably trading for him will need to either use that prospect or trade him to fill a bigger hole they can't find on the market easily. I mean we can safely assume it would be a contender or soon to contend team so the prospect would probably hold more value.

And then maybe NY lowers their asking price, why bother trading him for lesser prospects if they will get good draftpicks if he walks? He walks & you are looking at a 1st and 2nd round pick right ~ the return then has to be more than that so...

If Arod doesn't opt-out its really only in NYs interest. He opts out and he will get his money. He opts out and he gets to choose where he plays. He opts out and the bidding war might just surprise some.

If NY does offer him enough to stay and he actually wants to be there, then yeah he won't opt out ~ but if He/They don't then both really only have one smart option ~ just end the contract... Well in my mind atleast.

So, not sure if you agree or not, but if you don't then how do you see the trade being made?

Yeah, Ripwa, I have never read a thing about Texas being off the hook if he were traded or extended. Why would they be? Players with team A paying some of the salary are traded from team B to team C all the time (eg. Hampton).

If you've got a source for either of those statements, then everything I've said makes no sense and I'm 100% wrong. I will gladly admit that.

Anyway, darkstar - first, thanks for the reasonable response.

These are the scenarios I had in mind that could result in a trade:

A) Yankees go on a run and make the playoffs, and ARod is awful in the postseason again. He's booed off the field, the headlines are even worse than last season, etc. - everyone knows that he should not stay in NY.

B) The Yankees are interested in keeping him and he's interested in staying, but the asking price is just too high for them. Maybe the Yankees determine that ARod shouldn't get more than $25M per season. They know that someone will pay that, so they start working the phones.


Ask for the prospects, $30M is a LOT of money in prospect terms. It's not a perfect comparison, but the top draft picks only get signing bonuses around $5M. Given the high failure rate of prospects, $30M is really a lot. I'd bet that many teams would sell their top prospect for $30M.

Anyway, it doesn't even have to be a Salty type prospect - maybe just a couple 2nd-tier prospects, maybe like what they got for Johnson - something like that. Whatever the cost in prospects, I'm sure we can agree that $30M is worth _something_. It's not Kemp, Kershaw, LaRoche, Loney, and Ethier, but it's not just Wilson Betemit for example. (This would be a good question I think - exactly how much are prospects worth?)

Anyway, the draft pick point is very good. But still the money is a lot, and then you'd have to figure in the cost of signing those players - say $3M and $2M. And I think in exchange for $30M you can certainly do better than a low 1st rounder and a low 2nd round pick. But I'm happy to debate this more - I think the best way to have good discussions like this is to narrow exactly where we disagree.

I also agree that a bidding war as a FA could surprise some people. The biggest hinderance to my scenario is that Boras couldn't go calling up every team and negotiating with them as if ARod was a FA.

I'm envisioning something like this:

Boras tells Cashman what he'd sign an extension for. Say $130M over 4. Cashman says no, but let me try to find someone who will pay that. You tell me which teams are appealing to ARod. He calls up Stoneman, says "ARod will sign an extension with you for $130M/4 years. Would you pay that and take my Texas money? If so, let's talk trade."

And so on.

I think the complicated mechanics of the deal might make it too difficult, and not worth the trouble to upgrade prospects over the 1st and 2nd rounders. But in theory at least, ARod should make more by staying in the contract.

Bobo,

First off, no problem on the reasonable response… I cant stand when people reply with only “I think” based off what they want to believe over “I think” based off realistic logical situations or stats…


On to the topic ~ In theory I agree with you, as I think many do. He should be able to get more money from a team since Tex is paying a portion; but the problem comes in the fact that only one team can hold that current contract to take advantage of it…

But where we differ seems to be in the value of this situation to a team outside of the Yankees; I feel the Tex-Money is only an advantage to NY… Agree on where we differ?


Ok, so I pulled up sites to find out exactly what the contract currently looks like. What I found was this:
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/al/yankees/2007-02-06-rodriguez-contract_x.htm
This USAToday page says Tex is “is partially funding the deal, paying the Yankees $7.1 million this year, $8.1 million in 2008, $7.1 million in 2009 and $6.1 million in 2010”

Now, 2007 will actually be over by the time a trade would take place so we can drop that money. We then have Tex throwing in 8.1, 7.1 & 6.1 respectively over the next three years. The 21.3m is quite different than the 30m you had been saying, where did you get that figure?


So, now if we assume it is 21.3m that the trading team would be saving, what is it worth to them? And what is that value to them worth to NY over the draft picks they would receive? And are there any other factors which might hold up a trade?

First worth to another team… If the trading team is only saving an average of 7.1m the next three years we can assume it is much less valuable than we first thought. Sure it’s still good money, but its not as extreme. You mentioned that the 30m saved could be worth a couple second-tier prospects, is 21m worth the same? Probably ~ I don’t see too many teams balking at giving up like maybe 2 of their 5-15 best prospects for that amount. Depends on the minor-league strength of the team of course, but that’s probably about average.

But, is that worth it to NY? 2 top draft picks should result in top prospects; they won’t all produce of course, but they should be top guys. We also know NY is more likely to pay the huge signing bonuses and offer big-league deals to guys who demand them; draft picks become more valuable to teams like Bos and NY who will spend freely. Are two top picks actually worth more than two 5-15types to NY? How often do 5-15types produce real results?

Then we have to think about other factors… What are those prospects worth to the other team? If it’s a team with a fairly thin system to begin with, those second-tier guys could be very important to their plans. What do they have as far as other holes on the team? If those second-tier guys could be traded for guys to fill other holes, or even fill them themselves, then is it worth taking the 7m saved to try and find replacements on the FA market?

What if ARod actually doesn’t opt out after all? I think it’s doubtful as opting out is in his best interest if he is still with a NY team not willing to extend him to what he wants, but you never know… What if he wants to play a year in the new city before deciding if he wants to stay there long term?

Why would NY be excited about being his Agent for the trade talks; just to get a couple second-tier prospects? They could trade him now for more than that and not have to go through the headache… They could just let him walk and probably get as good of return in terms of the DPs without that added work…

And what if the trading team can’t actually sign him? Is it worth giving anything up just for the chance to talk to him at 21m less? Money isn’t the only thing that holds up deals, sometimes more needs to be added in the form of other benefits for the deal to get done. (see Clemens, Brown, etc) Does the team feel that confident they will do whatever he wants on top of the money they told the Yankees they would spend?

Think of the reverse of that; teams were willing to pay quite a bit of money for just the rights to talk to Matsuzaka… Money may not be as valuable as we think, they might be willing to waste some; prospects usually don’t get added into deals as freebees though… Think of how many teams are willing to eat portions of contracts just to get good prospects in return for players they want to dump ~ Tex was willing to eat a ton of money just to get something valuable from NY for ARod in the first place…


So when everything is factored in I still don’t see how it would be in ARods best interest to not just opt-out. I don’t think NY will act like his agent just to get about what they would anyway, so if they don’t want to sign him then he still walks in my mind… I think it comes down to ~ They offer him the money & he likes it there, he stays / they don’t offer the money or he doesn’t like it, he walks…

What do you think?

Good analysis. I've been looking at Cot's contracts:

http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2005/01/new-york-yankees_111398168678860040.html

It's complicated, but specifically I was looking at "4 years/$64M remaining from NYY after 2006" and "The Yankees get a $25M/year player for $16M/year." (on the ARod specific page). I had been saying $33M in the past, but I remember reading some analysis that said it was actually $30M. I don't know.

The USA Today story doesn't seem right because it says he's making $24M from 08-10, and we know it's $27M. Also it clearly doesn't jive with Cot's - I really don't know what's right.

If it's $21.3M, then yeah, obiviously that's worth less. In theory my point still holds (But then again I guess you could say theoretically it would hold even if Texas were just paying a dollar).

As for the question about the acquiring team signing him - I think that would all be worked out ahead of time - Stoneman (for example) would tell Cashman that in theory $30M a year is good, and then as is often the case, the trade would only be effective if an extension can be reached (the Yankees would give them the 48-hour window to negotiate after the trade is made in principal).

Is it all worth it? I don't know. If it's $21M, it's worth less. For ARod, I'm willing to concede that the amount Boras could get as a FA when he's free to negotiate with everyone as he wants and without a time limit could be worth as much as what a team would pay with the Texas payments. It would really depend on what the teams think he would get as a FA.

If a couple teams that want ARod agree that he would get $30M as a FA, then I could see a trade being made. But maybe they're willing to call Boras' bluff and aren't willing to go that high without a negotiation. But there's also a benefit in getting it done early, right?

If your team was able to get ARod in early November, and know he's signed for a long time, that has value in itself. You can trade a 3B prospect soon after, you don't have to worry about dealing with Lowell, you have a better idea of how your budget is going to shape up, etc.

So I don't know - point definitely taken about the difference between a low 1st and low 2nd rounder and the guys the Yankees would get. I don't know what the difference would be. My gut still says that for $20 or $30M you're getting a true top prospect. Maybe not an Upton or Hughes type, but Brandon Wood seems very reasonable - that's another thing to consider - a team getting ARod can trade a 3B prospect (Wood, LaRoche) because they don't need him. And the Yankees would surely value a cheap replacement with that kind of potential over a low 1st rounder who isn't going to be ready for years. Finally for as strong as their system is in pitching, it is nearly barren of hitters - I think they would put some effort into acquiring a top 3B prospect if they already knew ARod was leaving.


So, to sum up, I think the biggest hole in my theory is that other teams may think they can get a better deal as a FA - but think about that:

It's somewhere between $21 and $33M, and I'm going to assume in total he'll be signed through 2014, because a 7 year deal is what's been most commonly mentioned. Let's call it $4M a year (that would be $28M from Texas).

Do you think that there could be a $4M/year gap in between what the Angels think he'll get, and what ARod would sign an extension for? I'm not sure. Do you think ARod would happily sign a 7 year deal for $32M per? I think so. And would the Angels or someone else happily sign him to a 7 year deal at $28M per? Again, I think so.

If that's the case, then it could be simple. If not, then no. But if so, Cashman tells Stoneman "Want ARod at $28M a season? Give us Brandon Wood and you've got him." Maybe that works.

Of course, one of thing is the faultly logic that "hey, if we're going to pay him $28M, $32M isn't that much more..." if that's the case, teams could just be happy to let him become a FA.

Alright, this is way too long already - but thanks for the discussion - I'm happy to keep going (but I know this thread will get buried). I wish this were a real message board...

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