Alex Rodriguez's agent, Scott Boras, ended months of speculation by announcing during last night’s Game 4 that his client is opting out of his contract with the Yankees. The team said they will not re-sign him.
Rodriguez forfeits $72 million he was owed over the final three seasons of his $252 million, 10-year deal, which he signed with Texas before the 2001 season.
The A-Rod announcement upstaged the Red Sox in some ways, who made quick work of the Rockies by completing the sweep with a 4-3 win in Colorado. Mike Lowell, the subject of his own hot stove speculation, took home the hardware as series MVP amidst chants of “Re-sign Lowell! Re-sign Lowell!” The Boston faithful were also heard chanting "Don't sign A-Rod!"
The Phillies, who could use help at third base, have been linked to Lowell, who grew up a Phillies fan, hits well at Citizens Bank Park and said he would consider signing with the club earlier this month. Since then, Boston GM Theo Epstein has made strong statements suggesting the Red Sox will do what it takes to bring him back into the fold. Meanwhile, Curt Schilling, who turns 41 next month and still maintains a residence in the area, has included Philadelphia on the short list of places he’d play if the Red Sox don’t resign him. Boston has a number of young starters waiting in the wings and may be prepared to move forward. The Phillies, who have holes in their rotation, have indicated they will take a serious look at Schil.
Beerleaguer: From a business perspective, I have one thing to say to Scott Boras: bravo. It took less than 12 hours for Phillies fans to start up the “Let’s sign A-Rod” talk, and I'm assuming it's the same story in over half the markets in baseball.
But let’s get serious for a second. Over the summer, the New York Daily News published odds on A-Rod’s next team, making the Los Angeles Angels 4-1 favorites, followed by the Dodgers, Red Sox, Yankees, White Sox, Cubs and Mets. The Phillies didn’t make the list. Angels owner Arte Moreno has given mixed signals about a run at A-Rod, but Rodriguez hasn't been shy about his admiration for the Angels, the paper wrote. That, plus the proximity to Boras' Newport Beach offices, might make the Angels the unofficial favorite.
I would agree with the report: the two Los Angeles clubs are the best fits. The Angels need an offense that can match Boston, and A-Rod is the missing star the Dodgers need to compliment their own emerging talent. Everyone talks about the young studs in the NL West with the Diamondbacks and Rockies, but the Dodgers have their own crop, and A-Rod, with their veteran rotation and bullpen, may be enough to get them into the World Series with a team capable of competing against the AL. The other team worth watching may be San Francisco, who’s saying goodbye to Barry Bonds and may be looking for the next cornerstone. The Daily News listed 50-1 odds for San Fran.
I wouldn’t expect the Phils, with their surplus of offense, to outbid other squads, teams who actually need the kinds of bats the Phillies have. Early prediction: No chance and no interest in A-Rod, less than a 30 percent chance at Lowell, and a very good shot at Schilling.