Could A-Rod be true to his word?

So word is that A-Rod is negotiating with the Yankees without Boras, and wants to give the Yankees a discount since they lost the money from the Rangers. If this actually happens, and a couple reliable sources are saying it will get done, it would be one of the most interesting developments in awhile. Why would A-Rod have opted out in the first place? Really, there are two scenarios. (Again, this is assuming he actually does return to the Yankees.)

Scenario 1: Boras opted A-Rod out because financially it made the most sense, which is his job. A-Rod, realizing that the Yankees were out of the running, decided winning and being a Yankee is more important than money. Therefore, he cut Boras out of the negotiations and cut the Yankees a deal.

Scenario 2: A-Rod and Boras agree the best way to make the most money is to opt out. Once they begin contract talks with other teams, it becomes apparent that they’ve made an error and no one will give them a contract like what the Yankees were offering. So A-Rod pretends to be angry with Boras and cut him out so the Yankees are willing to negotiate again. He takes a slightly lesser deal than he would have gotten before, but what is still a better deal than he was going to find on the open market.

So which scenario is more likely? I don’t know. I think A-Rod firing Boras outright would be the only way to really sell scenario 1.

Obviously, scenario 1 is much more “pro-A-rod” and would garner him praise amongst the Yankee faithful (who were already preparing what might have been the world’s most inspired heckle for him at the 2008 All-Star Game).

As far as the Yankees are concerned, I think they need to take a hard line approach here. If A-Rod is trying to negotiate with them, they have the leverage. I’ve heard that the parameters of a deal could be 10 years and $275 million. This is too much. He will be 42 by the time that deal is done and there is no way he could still be playing third base. Really, he may only have 3 or 4 more years before he’s a first baseman, though his conditioning would suggest he’ll probably last longer than that. I think the Yankees start at 7 years, $175 million ($25 million per). Maybe go up a little from there, but they should probably be sure to avoid the myriad of perks, bonuses and opt-outs that were part of his first pact. A few straight forward bonuses are fine, but if you read his previous contract, even if A-Rod didn’t opt out this year, he could have opted out next year if he didn’t get a raise of $5 million higher than the highest paid player. And this could have continued every year until the end of his deal. So maybe it’s best he opted out now and got it over with. I can’t keep discussing A-Rod and opt-out clauses every year.

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