So A-Rod opted out of his contract with the Yankees. Is anyone really surprised?

Well, I suppose some people must be surprised since the media consensus over the past week seemed to be moving toward the notion that the Yankees would just offer whatever it took to keep him and that would be that.

But we must always remember that Scott Boras ALWAYS takes his players to free agency. It’s a matter of principle, but also just smart business practice. If your job is to make the most money you possibly can for your client, why would you ever accept a situation in which you have less leverage than you could have?

But this also shows that A-Rod is a weak-willed character who is totally under the thumb of Scott Boras. We have long known that Scott Boras can convince many GMs and owners of almost anything, but we should also recognize how much he uses that silver tongue on his own clients.

Because I think we can all agree that it was probably in A-Rod’s best interest to stay with the Yankees. He was finally on the verge of becoming a “True Yankee” and signing a Jeter-esque 9-year Yankee-for-life type contract would have sealed the deal. He could have finished out his career on the most glamorous team in sports and had his name etched into Baseball Lore alongside the likes of Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, and Mantle.

But now, if the Yankees keep their word and refuse to negotiate with A-Rod, his time with the Yankees are done, and at age 32, A-Rod will be joining his fourth team. He will go into the Hall of Fame as a mercenary, and choosing which team’s hat he should wear will be one of the most difficult hat-choosing decisions the Hall will have ever faced.

I mean, if he retired today, would we think of A-Rod as a Mariner? As a Ranger? As a Yankee? He was all of those, but really none of those. He certainly never quite reached “True Yankee” status, and if there is such thing as being a “True Mariner” or a “True Ranger” he certainly never became those either.

But more than anything, A-Rod and the Yankees were such a match made in Heaven, because A-Rod was such a great symbol for everything the Yankees of this current era represent. The team that is willing to spend any amount of money signs the games most mercenary player to the biggest deal ever. A-Rod needs to be on the Yankees, because it simultaneously makes both the Yankees and A-Rod more hateable, thus perpetuating two of 21st-century baseball’s greatest traditions.

But now? A-Rod as an Angel? A-Rod as a Met? A-Rod as a Phillie? He just doesn’t belong on any of those teams.

And as for the Yankees, they are now officially in total disarray. Torre is gone. A-Rod seems gone. Rivera and Posada can feel free to leave if they want. Clemens and Mussina are done.

And it’s not like the Yankees can just fill holes by overpaying on the free agent market anymore, the way they had for so many years, what with the way the free agent market has dried up over the last few years with teams locking up players to long term deals so much earlier these days.

Scott Boras is likely correct – the Yankees probably do need A-Rod even more than A-Rod needs the Yankees, and it probably would be in the Yankees’ best interest to negotiate with A-Rod anyway, even though they swore they would not.

And I think that is probably what is going to happen, actually.

Although what I would really love the Yankees to do is to send a strong message, offering A-Rod the exact same monstrous 5-year extension they reportedly offered him the day before he opted out, but with the $27 million they will no longer be getting from the Rangers subtracted from the total. So they can say, “Fine, you want to cost us $27 million? Well it’s coming out of your salary.”

17 Responses to “So Scott Boras takes yet another client into Free Agency. Why are we still surprised?”

  1. Only on UmpBump do we take away from the Red Sox achievement by initiating what will surely be one of the most talked about Free Agencies in history. Only an ex-Yankee could do this.

  2. Nick Kapur says:

    Alejandro, what do you mean “only on umbump” do we take away from the Red Sox do we take away from the Red Sox achievement? If anything, umpbump is known for spending possibly too *much* time talking about Red Sox achievements. I mean look at our tag cloud!

    And everyone is going to be talking about A-Rod tomorrow, not just umpbump. If you want to blame someone, blame Scott Boras. He’s the one who decided he just had to make this announcement a few innings before the end of the World Series.

  3. Sorry, Fox beat you to it, in the middle of the freaking World Series!!!!!! Here we are in the 7th or 8th, trying to sweep, and Fox cuts to a shot of A-rod in a yankees cap. Seriously? Fox needs to get off the Yankees Johnson.

  4. Alejandro Leal says:

    I was trying to be cynical and sarcastic… obviously it didn’t come through as clean as I would’ve hoped… apologies…

    It was just funny to me that nary had the Sox clinched the Series, news on A-Rod’s free agency was splattered above the fold.

    But yea, I saw it on the Times’ website a while ago…

    I’m sure it’ll be all over the papers, websites, tabloids, etc, tomorrow…

  5. Sarah Green says:

    Obviously it’s just A-Rod’s pathetic need to be always in the limelight, whether or not he’s done anything to deserve it and no matter what else is going on. Mark my words, if the Sox had been losing, Boras would have kept his greedy trap shut.

  6. Bold prediction of the night: A-Rod will take less money to sign w/ a team like the Red Sox, where he feels like he has a better chance to win than he would have in New York.

    (is it a bad sign that even I don’t believe my bold prediction of the night?)

  7. Sarah Green says:

    Bold prediction of the night: A-Rod will not get more money than what New York offered. He will take less money to sign with a team like the Angels, who will lose to the Yankees in next year’s ALDS, or a team like the Phillies, who will lose a one-game playoff against the Mets.

  8. Just goes to show why Boras is such a great agent and a terrible human. He was just waiting for the 7th inning of the Sox series clinching game to leak that news. And shame on Fox for taking the bait. Red Sox fans are two innings away from celebrating their 2nd title in the last 90 years or so, and Fox is talking about the Yankees? Joe Buck says, “We’re going to keep Ken Rosenfeld here and talk to him throughout the inning when appropriate”. How is that ever ‘appropriate’?

  9. Tek signed with the Sox without testing the waters. Boras advised against it but accepted Tek’s decision.

    A-Rod, not Boras, is the one who made the choice. He was not duped. This is who he is.

  10. Sarah Green says:

    Samlang, you are so right. Varitek is everything A-Rod has never been. Alex can have his gaudy stats, because Varitek has everything else. Varitek is three times the man A-Rod could ever hope of being.

  11. Nick Kapur says:

    He also has three times the thighs that A-Rod has, although A-Rod has been catching up of late…

  12. Sarah Green says:

    Red “C” on his jersey, two World Series rings, a wife that doesn’t wear vulgar t-shirts in public, no frolicking with strippers, no cheap shots running the basepaths (A-Rod already has three well-known ones by my count), the respect of everyone in the game, and so much heart that he still gets teary-eyed during on-the-field interviews. Plus, I like the new beard. I would take Varitek’s knotty thighs over A-Rod’s aforementioned hamstrings any day of the week.

  13. Paul Moro says:

    To be fair, Varitek got $40million out of the deal. It’s not like he signed for a mere pittance.

  14. After the game on ESPN, Peter Gammons pointed out that A-Rod has never won a championship and commenting on the lack of class of making his announcement in the middle of game 4, Gammons added, “and maybe there’s a reason why…”

  15. Sarah Green says:

    4 years, 40 million. That’s the deal Varitek took, and that’s the same deal that fellow Boras client Johnny Damon walked away from. I have no doubt that Tek could have gotten more on the open market, but Jason Varitek knows that there’s more to life than money. Will A-Rod *ever* realize that?

  16. Sarah Green says:

    Pepe, I know.

  17. 4 years, 40 million. That’s the deal Varitek took, and that’s the same deal that fellow Boras client Johnny Damon walked away from.

    I’m curious who Johnny is feeling about his deal right now. I wonder if being on a team in complete disarray is worth $3 million a year.
    I hope Scott Boras isn’t Mike Lowell’s agent!

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