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Lip Man 1
10-21-2004, 01:22 PM
Again with thanks to Bob Vanderberg and the Chicago Tribune!



Date: Sunday, December 17, 2000 Source: By Phil Rogers,

HOW SOX GOT LEFT OUT OF DEAL FOR A-ROD
BORAS GETS RANGERS TO BID AGAINST SELVES

When Alex Rodriguez stepped to the microphone Tuesday afternoon, sleet was just beginning to fall outside The Ballpark in Arlington. This wasn't quite like the ice storm that caused Joe Montana to suffer hypothermia at the 1979 Cotton Bowl, but it nevertheless was a new weather event for Rodriguez, a Miami native who worships the sun.

"This is what Dallas is really like, dude," said a talk-show host on KTCK radio, Dallas' all-sports station. Said another: "No takebacks."

As the background behind Monday's agreement became better known, baseball executives everywhere were shaking their heads over how Boras got $25.2 million per year from Hicks with no other team strongly pursuing Rodriguez. The White Sox arguably finished second, and they never got a chance to make their formal bid.

The Sox's serious interest in Rodriguez materialized too late. Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf's offer may have been too little. But there were two things that could have happened Tuesday.

If Boras was not somewhere introducing his 25-year-old client to new hometown fans--as it turned out he did on that gray day in the suburbs between Dallas and Ft. Worth--he would have been alongside Rodriguez in a meeting with Reinsdorf and Sox General Manager Ken Williams.

With the Rangers stepping up as the only option that had the feel of a sure thing, Boras held the White Sox at arm's length. Because Reinsdorf would not authorize a formal offer without meeting directly with Rodriguez, he gave Boras a face-saving fallback position if he had not pulled a rabbit out of his hat in meetings at the Wyndham Anatole Hotel.

Two things could have happened to the deal with the Rangers. Hicks, perhaps influenced by a normally conservative baseball operation headed byDoug Melvin, could have flinched as he experienced sticker shock. Rodriguez, who was seeking a winning situation built to last, could have had second thoughts about a team that lost 91 games a year ago and has an old lineup.

If either of those things happened, Boras could have said he was close to a deal--even if he wasn't--and left Dallas to meet with Reinsdorf and Williams, who for unexplained reasons waited until last weekend to seek that face-to-face meeting with Rodriguez.

Boras now says he already had a $200-million offer on the table when the Sox made that request Saturday. Boras told them Rodriguez would not be available until Tuesday.

This was maddening for Williams but ideal for Boras. It gave him a Plan B. If not for Boras' unparalleled negotiating skills creating an atmosphere in which the normally shrewd Hicks bid against himself, he easily could have needed Plan B.

Reinsdorf would have had a chance to demonstrate the sincerity of his interest and Rodriguez could have chosen to join the Sox, who won 95 games last year with a lineup that averages 28 years of age.

The Sox did not plan to compete against the teams that were the initial favorites for Rodriguez, such as the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, but grew enthusiastic about their chances when those teams stayed out of the bidding.

Reinsdorf, unavailable to Chicago reporters on the subject, told USA Today Baseball Weekly he would not go to $200 million total or $20 million a year.

Boras talked for weeks about mystery teams that never publicly surfaced, saying some clubs had asked him to operate on a confidential basis. It was an operation that more resembled a shell game than an auction.

But this is how Boras operates. He produced that record contract for Brown when the St. Louis Cardinals were the only other team known to be bidding against the Dodgers for the pitcher.

Their best bid for Brown is believed to have been about $70 million--a full 33 percent below the price Dodgers GM Kevin Malone paid.

After the Rodriguez-Rangers deal was announced Monday night, Boras was amused to hear Sandy Alderson, Major League Baseball's executive vice president, say he was "stupefied" by the size of the contract.

"I guess I'm the stupefier," Boras said.

Boras announced on Dec. 9 that he was narrowing the process from eight teams to four finalists. His math is debatable as only Texas, Atlanta and Seattle surfaced in weekend bidding and only the White Sox, Colorado and Pittsburgh were identified as having dabbled on the outskirts of negotiations.

In the end Boras is known to have received formal offers from only two teams, Texas and Seattle. The Mariners, who had said they were eager to hang on to Rodriguez, didn't act like it. According to Rodriguez, his old team offered a five-year deal in which only the first three were guaranteed. The total price was reported in the range of $85 million to $95 million.

"You hear about a hometown discount," Mariners GM Pat Gillick said. "This would have had to be a major hometown discount."

According to Boras and Atlanta executives, the Braves' bid never got off the ground. Boras was insisting on a no-trade clause and Atlanta would not change its policy to give him a right that wasn't extended to Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux or Tom Glavine, although Maddux and Glavine can't be traded because of their 10-and-5 rights, meaning they have 10 years in the majors and five with their current team.

"I had problems with Atlanta," Rodriguez said. "I wanted a no-trade clause. I wanted to be [wherever I signed] the rest of my life. I had a big problem with that."

If the difference over the no-trade clause was truly non-negotiable for Rodriguez, Boras was left with two viable options--Texas and, in the wings, the White Sox. Williams discounted the Tribune's report of his being prepared to deliver a $144-million offer as too low and sources close to the talks indicated the Sox were believed to be willing to go as high as $195 million.

Boras didn't let it be known he had encountered a deal-breaking element in his negotiations with the Braves until after he had agreed in principle with the Rangers.

Boras and Hicks banged out a deal in two extended meetings Sunday--four hours in the early afternoon and five hours deep into the night. According to the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers delivered an initial offer of $225 million over 12 years in the first meeting.

Despite having no visible long-term alternative, Boras succeeded in getting Hicks to raise the average annual valuation of the deal from $18.75 million to $25.2 million before the day was over.

Hicks came back with an offer of $240 million to start the second meeting and eventually agreed to $252 million, paid over 10 years.

The deal includes $36 million in deferred money, allowing Hicks to say its present value is actually $180 million. Economists may agree, but there's no denying Hicks believes he must defend his willingness to pay such a high price.

Rodriguez calls his new boss "maybe the most powerful, greatest owner in baseball." The shortstop inevitably will be painted by some as a mercenary, but he tried to distance himself from the negotiations.

"I hired an attorney," Rodriguez said. "I play baseball. I'm a beneficiary of these two guys going to war until 4 o'clock in the morning."

Boras tried to take heat off Hicks, insisting there were other teams in the process even if they remained invisible. He said it isn't surprising teams unsuccessful in the bidding don't want it known they had lost out to the Rangers. He was not hooked to a polygraph machine at the time, however.

Asked Tuesday if he overpaid, Hicks said, "Maybe." His top baseball official, Melvin, is widely respected for acquiring and developing young players. His first move after taking over the Rangers in 1994 was trading his highest-paid player, Jose Canseco, to spread around his resources.

Along with the development of homegrown stars Ivan Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez, that kind of planning led to Texas winning its first division title in 1996 as well as back-to-back American League West titles in 1998 and '99.

Hicks, who bought the team in 1998 from a group Texas Gov. George W. Bush headed, was dismayed when the New York Yankees swept the Rangers in the first round of the playoffs in '98 and '99. He paid a high price to try to buy the success his general manager has long believed had to be earned.

"Whether we went too far is the thing," Melvin said. "I think we're staying within our budget."

In a survey on the Dallas Morning News Web site, 54 percent said the Rangers, last in the AL in earned-run average last season, should have added pitching instead of Rodriguez. Even within the Rangers' organization, there are mixed feelings.

"It's a matter of balancing the excitement I have for our franchise, for Tom Hicks, for our fans and employees against the critics around the country saying it's too much, it's going to kill the industry," Melvin said. "But, quietly, when all is said and done, I've gotten some calls that said, `Hey, if there's a player deserving of the largest contract in baseball, it's this player.'"

Time will tell.

Flight #24
10-21-2004, 01:45 PM
More VERY interesting notes here:
Reinsdorf would not authorize a formal offer without meeting directly with Rodriguez,
....
Boras told them Rodriguez would not be available until Tuesday.

...

Reinsdorf would have had a chance to demonstrate the sincerity of his interest and Rodriguez could have chosen to join the Sox, who won 95 games last year with a lineup that averages 28 years of age.

....

Williams discounted the Tribune's report of his being prepared to deliver a $144-million offer as too low and sources close to the talks indicated the Sox were believed to be willing to go as high as $195 million.

....

the Rangers delivered an initial offer of $225 million over 12 years in the first meeting.


Looks like the Sox never asked to negotiate without Boras, but jsut that prior to a formal offer, JR wanted to meet him. HUGE difference. Especially the implication that the meeting and the formal offer were not the same thing, i.e. JR meets ARod and then a formal offer is rpesented to Boras.

The other intersting note is that the Sox offer was IIRC (although it's not mentioned here), over 10 years. So they actually had an offer HIGHER than the Rangers initial bid. They never had a chance to negotiate, but they certainly weren't "cheaping out".

Mickster
10-21-2004, 01:48 PM
More VERY interesting notes here:

Looks like the Sox never asked to negotiate without Boras, but jsut that prior to a formal offer, JR wanted to meet him. HUGE difference. Especially the implication that the meeting and the formal offer were not the same thing, i.e. JR meets ARod and then a formal offer is rpesented to Boras.

The other intersting note is that the Sox offer was IIRC (although it's not mentioned here), over 10 years. So they actually had an offer HIGHER than the Rangers initial bid. They never had a chance to negotiate, but they certainly weren't "cheaping out".
My point exactly. :smile:

ozzman
10-21-2004, 02:46 PM
"I wanted a no-trade clause. I wanted to be [wherever I signed] the rest of my life. I had a big problem with that." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

CubsfansareDRUNK
10-21-2004, 03:15 PM
http://i17.ebayimg.com/02/i/02/a2/ab/81_1.JPG
---had to be said

nitetrain8601
10-21-2004, 06:43 PM
More VERY interesting notes here:


Looks like the Sox never asked to negotiate without Boras, but jsut that prior to a formal offer, JR wanted to meet him. HUGE difference. Especially the implication that the meeting and the formal offer were not the same thing, i.e. JR meets ARod and then a formal offer is rpesented to Boras.

The other intersting note is that the Sox offer was IIRC (although it's not mentioned here), over 10 years. So they actually had an offer HIGHER than the Rangers initial bid. They never had a chance to negotiate, but they certainly weren't "cheaping out".
WHAT???? I certainly call 195 million cheapening out on the greatest player ever!!!! Wouldn't you????

Tragg
10-25-2004, 01:22 AM
I'd love to have A-Rod and Unit and the rest IF we have the overall payroll to support them- i.e. they have to take less than 20% of the payroll so we can still field a complete team.

Dolanski
10-26-2004, 02:21 PM
A Fraud wasn't worth 25 mill then and certainly isn't worth it now. Funny how he leaves Seattle and they contend. He leaves Texas and they contend. He comes to NY and he costs them a crucial game by slapping Arroyo when he should have tried to run him over. What a chump. Funny thing too, you don't exactly hear people in Seattle or Texas wishing he was back. Rumor has it he is a prima donna with a big ego. I don't doubt it. He is a great talent, but with things coming so easy to him and never really being challenged, he failed to be a leader in the playoffs and was a key reason the Yankees blew it.

As far as the White Sox and AFraud, they were never on his radar. Boras used us, but Kenny and Jerry let him use us. So be it. We are better off without him...