A widely quoted report in today’s NY Daily News by Mark Feinsand and Bill Madden claims Alex Rodriguez has reached out to the Yankees via a third party, and has been told the Bombers are ready to deal with him, provided Scott Boras isn’t part of the negotiations.

A high-ranking Yankees source told the Daily News that the team is willing to bring Rodriguez back on a below-market contract, one that would make up for the $21 million subsidy from the Rangers that the Yanks lost when A-Rod opted out of the final three years of his contract.

In addition, the Yankees don’t want to deal with Boras, who has been Rodriguez’s agent since the slugger was 16 years old.
“We will not negotiate with Scott Boras,” a Yankees source said. “He cannot be in the room.”

The Yankees are also aware that Boras could convince Rodriguez to stop the talks. “We realize it could be a trap to get us back in the negotiations,” said one Yankee official. “But we don’t think that’s the case.”

As the Daily News reported today, A-Rod will have to have person-to-person talks with the Steinbrenner brothers — Hank and Hal — before a deal can be sealed.

According to the first source, the Yankees are waiting for Mariano Rivera to sign a new contract before finalizing any plans with Rodriguez, who is expected to take a 10-year deal worth roughly $275 million. That would be about $75 million less than Boras has been looking for, though most industry insiders believe there was never going to be a $350 million offer out there for Rodriguez.

“Alex is going to be back with the Yankees,” the source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been made public. “The Yankees don’t have a choice. How are they going to compete without Alex? They need him back.”

After monitoring the third-base market, the Yankees apparently decided that Rodriguez was the best fit for them at third base. Mike Lowell is the only free agent of note, and his numbers were overwhelmingly better at Fenway Park last year than away from Boston.

Miguel Cabrera is the top name available on the trade market, but the Yankees were concerned about his work ethic and his habit of partying hard, something that dissuaded them from dealing for the talented 24-year-old slugger.

Not to mention Cabrera’s unavailable without giving up at least one marquee name from their big league roster. But I digress —- if Donald Fehr and Gene Orza threw a wrench into A-Rod’s plans to reduce his salary during the abortive trade talks with Boston in ’03/’04, what will the Players Union make of the Yankees denying a player the right to his chosen representation? If Rodriguez wants to fire Boras, so be it. That’s his right. But there’s something entirely backwards about an edict — assuming one exists — that a face-to-face with the Steinbrenner Brothers sans counsel is a requirement. If Rodriguez isn’t aware how capitulating to such conditions undermines the negotiating leverage of every other player in the game, maybe Marvin Miller can spell it out for him.