A couple of high-profile options for Alex Rodriguez were discussed in the papers today. A-Rod’s hitting like a madman, which brings his opt-out clause to the forefront even though it’s April 20th.
Gerry Callahan of the Boston Herald has "no doubt" that the Red Sox will make a run at Rodriguez after this season. It does make plenty of sense – the Sox proved they’d pay a ridiculous amount for star power with the Daisuke Matsuzaka bidding. They’ve got the open slot at third base with Mike Lowell leaving. And they almost acquired Rodriguez in 2003. Basically, all the talking points you’re going to hear between now and when he signs somewhere.
Some salary should come off the books for Boston after this season: Curt Schilling at $13MM, Matt Clement at $9.5MM, Mike Lowell at $9MM, Eric Hinske at $2.8MM, Joel Pineiro at $4MM, Julian Tavarez at $3.1MM. Of course, the Sox need to replace some of these guys, but they could be subtracting $40MM. There is room for a marquee addition, and it could be on offense. I could see a big push to sign A-Rod and John Smoltz, if he’ll leave Atlanta.
Another possibility is the Phillies. Would Phils fans really show the love to A-Rod, as Nick Fierro suggests? I feel like they could turn on him pretty quickly. Then again, there’s no reason Rodriguez wouldn’t tear up the National League and give them nothing to boo about. The Phils could lose Freddy Garcia at $10MM, Jon Lieber at $7.5MM, and Aaron Rowand at $4.35MM. They are also paying $7MM towards Jim Thome’s salary this year. I just don’t see the Phillies winning the bidding for a free agent superstar, however. They wouldn’t pony up for Alfonso Soriano or Carlos Lee this winter.
The Red Sox and Phillies are just two of many teams thought to be interested in Rodriguez. Despite the money, the list is huge and may also include the Angels, Dodgers, White Sox, Cubs, Giants, Diamondbacks, and Indians.