In a stunning turnaround, it now appears that Alex Rodriguez will be playing in pinstripes after all. The news broke yesterday that Arod and the Yankees had been in meetings to work out a deal after Arod had "reached out" to the Yankees through a third party to express his interest in remaining with the team. The Yankees had flatly stated that if Arod opted out of his contract that they would not pursue him as a free agent. Of course nothing was written in stone. And now that Arod has come back to negotiate exclusively with the Yankees, all seems to be forgiven.
According to "inside sources" Arod was not happy with the way things have gone for him. He didn't expect the Yankees to stand firm on their promise not to deal with him and he didn't expect the public backlash that has accompanied his free agency. It really baffles me that someone as seemingly intelligent as Arod could allow something like this to happen, which is why I think this was planned all along. Boras realized that there wouldn't be much of a market for Arod and devised this plan to get the Yankees to pony up more than the $220 million they would have originally brought to the table. Boras' plan all along was to get Arod a $300 million contract. He knew that the only team that could really commit that kind of money to Arod was the Yankees. So in order to get them to up their offer and without making Arod seem like all he cared about was money, he decided to play the bad cop to Arod's good cop.
He has manipulated the press at every turn and his plan has worked to perfection. He put out the press release about Arod opting out at the most inappropriate time. He has been the only one talking about Arod and about how much money he was worth to a team. He has been the only one making any statements to the press. Arod has been silent during this entire saga. The first thing we hear from Arod is when he put out a statement on his website about how much he and his wife love NY and that they are discussion with the Yankees about their future. Arod can now be seen as someone who was led astray by the big bullying agent. He really wanted to come back to the Yankees all along. But now instead of a eight year extension for $220 million, he will now get a 10 year $270 million contract with incentives that would push the deal to over $300 million. It's perfect, Arod and Boras get what they want and the Yankees get what they need.
Arod will now be able to say that it wasn't all about money. He really loves the Yankees and they were indeed the only team he wanted to play for. Boras gets to trumpet in the press that he had deals on the table for more money (without ever naming names of course), but his client went with his heart. It's the perfect fairly tale ending (wink, wink). Of course it's all a bunch a bullshit, but the Yankees will play along because they know that they don't really have a viable option at third base. They know that they need Arod just as much as he needs them. Arod will return to NY and continue his assault on the record books and perhaps win a World Series or two along the way and this episode will be forgotten.
This whole thing has been media manipulation pure and simple; Brian Cashman knows it, Hank Steinbrenner knows it, Arod knows it, Boras knows it and the American people know it. In the end it's not going to make any difference though. Everyone will be all smiles at the press conference. Arod will smile and talk about how this whole situation was a misunderstanding and it wasn't about the money. Cashman will smile and say that they got the deal that they always wanted. Hank Steinbrenner will smile (okay maybe not him) and talk about how the Yankees maintained their integrity. And somewhere in the background, Scott Boras will be laughing his ass off.
Labels: Baseball - Yankees