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A-Rod, Partial Cubs Owner?

UPDATE: Boras debunked the report.  Well, it was fun to discuss for a few hours.

Deadspin's Will Leitch has an article in New York Magazine dissecting the Alex Rodriguez opt-out situation.  Leitch, through a source, has a new piece of info for us sure to generate some discussion.  He lists the Red Sox and Cubs as the teams most likely to lure A-Rod away from the Yankees, and lays out a unique Cub contract possibility:

Scott Boras knows which [ownership] group is most likely to be awarded the Cubs. The source says Boras has already been in touch with that group about the possibility of a contract that could reach $30 million a year over the next ten years while deferring a certain portion of money toward an eventual stake in the franchise.

David K. Li's source feels that this might constitute tampering.  The group Leitch is likely referring to is the one headed by John Canning, who is currently a part-owner of the Brewers.

Pretty wild stuff.  Cubs fans can salivate over a lineup featuring Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, and A-Rod.  Keep all of those guys healthy the next few years and they could have the league's best offense.  Still, ten year contracts are pretty rare and quite risky.  It's tough to project a player more than a few years out, but it's going to take at least eight years to sign Rodriguez.

The Cubs have roughly $110MM on the books for 2008 (more on that in a separate post).  They entered the '07 season with a payroll right around $100MM.  Even in a backloaded deal I'd imagine A-Rod would earn $20MM+ in his first year.  So if the Cubs want to go past the $130MM mark, they could have Rodriguez.  That'd put the Cubs third in payroll behind only the Yankees and Red Sox.



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