After all that, a modest raise and considerable security for Alex Rodriguez, along with another decade of remembering (whoops!) the stripper should take the service elevator. In Thursday’s New York Times, Allen Schwartz reminds us this is not the first time A-Rod’s taken the public stance of distancing himself from his agent.
Rodriguez, who was picked No. 1 over all by Seattle in the June 1993 amateur draft, held out for months as Boras demanded a $2.5 million contract. Boras declined all attempts by the Mariners to speak with Rodriguez directly, angering club officials and creating a contentious atmosphere. The Mariners, who were offering $1 million, were prepared to walk away as the Aug. 30 signing deadline approached.
But Rodriguez, then 18 and preferring to play professional baseball rather than accept a scholarship at the University of Miami, asked a family acquaintance, Joe Arriola, to bridge the gulf between the two sides. (Arriola, a well-known south Florida baseball figure at the time, had originally advised Rodriguez to hire Boras as his agent.) Arriola called the Mariners on Rodriguez™s behalf and arranged a last-minute negotiating session in Miami among him, the Mariners president Chuck Armstrong, Rodriguez and his family.
Two days of talks at a local hotel, at which Boras was not present but was occasionally consulted by the Rodriguez camp via telephone, culminated in Rodriguez signing a contract mere hours before the deadline. The deal was worth approximately $1.3 million ” not far from what the Mariners had been offering all along. Boras had advised not to accept such a deal.
Boras, whom Rodriguez kept as his agent, was furious that the contract had been negotiated without his direct involvement. He later filed a grievance on Rodriguez™s behalf through the Major League Baseball Players Association that accused the Mariners of breaking rules by negotiating with a player without his agent present. Boras wanted the contract voided, which would make Rodriguez a free agent.
While WFAN’s Sweeny Murti breathlessly declares Rodriguez “may have finally found out what he wants to be”, SI.com’s Jon Heyman insists the new pact “is likely to include an unprecedented incentive package that could put the total package at well over $300 million.”
Only ESPN’s Steve Phillips could hail Rodriguez for “swallowing his pride” while also protesting the Yankees overpaid for The Third Baseman. Presuming A-Rod actually plays for another ten years, is there anyone who doesn’t believe playing at a high level in the nation’s no.1 market is worth at least another $50 million over the life of the deal?