Monday, October 29, 2007
A-Rod Opts Out of Yankee Contract, Re-Signs With Texas
Arlington, TX--New York Yankees third baseman Alex “A-Rod” Rodríguez, widely regarded as the best player in baseball, opted out of his gargantuan contract yesterday in order to test the waters in the free agent pool. He was immediately re-signed by the team that had traded him to the Yankees, the Texas Rangers.
At the end of the 2000 season, A-Rod’s agent, Scott Boras, led a bidding war among interested teams which resulted in the Texas Rangers signing him to a 10-year contract valued at $252 million. It was rumored at the time that Boras bamboozled Rangers owner Tom Hicks into awarding A-Rod that exorbitant amount by exaggerating the offers extended by other teams, primarily the New York Mets. Among the contract’s many nuances was a provision that allowed Rodríguez to opt out of the contract after the 2007 season.
After the 2003 season, the Boston Red Sox attempted to acquire Rodríguez in a trade, but failed to do so because of financial concerns. The Rangers then named Rodríguez team captain, the move being announced at possibly the most awkward press conference ever. Rodríguez never played a single game as captain, however, because later in that same offseason, the Rangers traded him to the Yankees. In order to complete the trade, the Yankees required Texas to pay $67 million of the $179 million left on Rodriguez's contract at the time. Therefore, for the past three seasons, Tom Hicks has paid Rodríguez over $30 million to play for another team, but as of today still owed him over $30 million.
However, Hicks’s $30 million debt was discharged last night when Rodríguez exercised his opt-out clause, unilaterally terminating the contract and freeing Hicks of the $30 million obligation.
Boras and Hicks immediately called a press conference announcing that the Rangers will be re-signing Rodríguez to a 13-year, $390 million contract.
“We’re very excited to have Alex back with us,” said Hicks, who seemed confused by the entire proceedings.
“In a way, it’s like he never really left. I certainly never stopped paying him, anyway,” added Hicks, with a sad, weak chuckle.
Boras, a huge smile on his face, explained that Rodríguez is worth all that money and more. “Alex isn’t just a baseball player, he’s an icon. He’s the iconic symbol of what baseball iconicity is all about. He symbolizes and typifies the modern game, and now he is the face of the Rangers. The iconic face of the Rangers.” He continued speaking as he moved large canvas bags with the dollar symbol into a wheelbarrow.
“Icon,” he added.
Rodríguez will quite literally be the new face of the Rangers. He will be reinstated as the team’s captain, and, as part of the deal, the team will be renamed the Texas A-Rods. The name change will be accompanied by a uniform change, with the team abandoning its red, white, and blue Lone Star design for a purple and green uniform that features Rodríguez’s face on the front and the back. The purple is meant to represent Rodríguez’s lips, which are purple, and the green stands for money, which is green.
Boras explained that having A-Rod’s picture on the front and back of the uniforms symbolizes “the two faces of A-Rod.” He also pointed out that Rodríguez, when in uniform, displays three A-Rod faces (the two on the uniform, and the one on his face), which represents how “he is a triple threat: offense, defense, and, uh, I know it’s something, I’ll get back to you on that. It’s, like, an icon thing or something. How could I have forgotten this already, I just came up with it a minute ago. You’ve got to excuse me, it’s just that, God, these bags are heavy.”
Asked whether such a lucrative contract might not financially cripple the team like it did earlier in the decade, Hicks looked shocked and disoriented, saying “Well, golly, I hadn’t thought of that, maybe this isn’t such a great idea—” before being cut off by Boras, who immediately yelled “No, no, no, Tommy, it’s a valid and binding contract, you’ve got an offer, acceptance, and consideration, it’s guaranteed, I’ll take it to the union, mister!”
Boras, now dressed like the Monopoly guy, then looked around and regained his composure, saying “Wait, let’s settle down, what I meant to say was, wow, what a silly question to ask, Alex is an iconic player, he is universally beloved, his being here will mean other players will want to come play in Texas. Alex is a winner, and winners breed winning and winning breeds winning. My analysts have the numbers to back it up, plus also the contract is a done deal anyway so it’s a moot point. Anyway, he’s an icon. It’s Greek, that word. Icon. But I think they spell it with a k.”
"K for contract, bitches! I'm riiiiiiiich!," he suddenly added.
Asked if he was excited to be coming back to Arlington, Rodríguez, a blank expression on his face, replied that he was, although he’d miss some of his Yankee teammates, like Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, and Mariano Rivera, as well as former manager Joe Torre, an answer which seemed dubious to those in attendance, mostly because everyone is well aware that all of the above-named individuals can’t stand Rodríguez.
“I have a lot of great memories of Texas,” said Rodríguez. “Like, uh, Chan Ho Park, and, uh, when we came in fourth place all those years. It’s really good to be back. I’m excited to play with all these guys here in Texas, guys like, uh—” (at this point Rodríguez turned and whispered a question to Boras, who then whispered something back in Rodríguez’s ear) “—guys like Marlon Byrd and Jason Potts. What? Bots? What bots? Oh, Botts. Botts, Jason Botts, I mean. Yeah.”
“I’m the captain,” he added. He then pretended to speak some Spanish.
At that point the press conference came to an end, and the trio walked away from the podium, two of them with uneasy smiles on their faces. As the door shut behind them, some in the room reported hearing Rodríguez saying “Marlon Byrd? The fat guy? He starts for this team? Well at least Teixeira’s still here. What? What the hell, Scott?”
Though the new contract does not contain an opt-out clause like his old one did, it does contain several novel provisions, such as a provision that awards him $10 million extra if 2010 is followed by 2011, another that awards him $15 million in the event that the Yankees and Red Sox are still in the American League in 2012, and one that allows Rodríguez to double the value of the contract at the end of the 2015 season by electing to do so.
In other news, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series last night.