A-Rod to Boston?

A-Rod.Arod News

Have the Red Sox been planning for the offseason addition of Alex Rodriguez from as far back as February of this year?

Back on Feb. 9, Red Sox owner John Henry purchased 50 percent of NASCAR’s Roush Racing, a $60 million business venture designed to increase revenue streams in the team’s ongoing quest to compete with the Yankees.

This type of outside-the-box thinking – it’s the first major partnership between two professional sports organizations – is not new for Henry and Co., who’ve already taxed Fenway Park to the gills with yearly expansion and recently expanded into the Pacific Rim with the acquisition of two Japanese imports.  

How much new money will it bring? I don’t know. I did some searching on the subject and only found a little information in an article in the July 16 issue of ESPN The Magazine, which describes the partnership as “built on the vows of revenue streams and marketing gains.”

“Roush has made plenty of moves in the past we all thought were crazy,” Kyle Petty, driver-owner of Petty Enterprises told Ryan McGee of The Mag. “Well, now we’re all doing what he was smart enough to pioneer. I bet if the Red Sox end up with a lot more money than everyone else, all the ball clubs will start to show up at the race track.”

Another section in the story reads: “Accountants are figuring out how to divvy up the eventual profits between those shopping for left-side tires and those looking for lefthanded relievers.”

Hmmm…will there be enough to sign A-Rod when/if the mercurial slugger opts out of his deal in New York?

Perhaps. The consensus is that Rodriguez will command somewhere between $30-$40 million per season if he leaves the club. The Yankees have already said they won’t get into a bidding war if A-Rod opts out of the last years of his contract.

With Mike Lowell ($9 million) and Matt Clement ($9.5 million — remember him?) set to come off the books at the end of the season and the Sox still unsure of what to do with Curt Schilling ($13 million), there could be $18.5 to 31.5 million in cash to toss around.

But with the Sox always seemingly focused on not letting the payroll get too out of control (despite this past offseason’s signings) plus the sensible choice for Schilling and the Sox to come to terms, it would seem the Sox would not be acting business conscience in wildly pursuing Rodriguez.

That’s where the deal with Roush Racing comes in. The deal was struck at the beginning of the season for each organization, which may or may not affect when the Sox begin to see a return on their investment.

The thought here is that the Sox attempt to sign A-Rod, take the short-term financial hit and bank on an influx of cash from their NASCAR investment in a year or two to get them out of the red – all the while taking advantage of competitive team that for the next few years will feature a nice balance of veteran and young talent.

The window for that balance in sports is short. You can only have veterans in their prime and productive kids making short money simultaneously for so long. Henry, Larry Lucchino and Theo Epstein know this. Seth Moonkin’s “Feeding the Monster” revealed such when in it Epstein made clear the Sox would take a step back in 2006, only to retool in 2007 and beyond with a mix of cheap homegrown talent and top-tier free agents.

And remember, A-Rod wanted to come here at the end of the 2003 season. He even agreed to a substantial paycut to do so, only to have the MLB Player’s Union squash the deal because, Heaven forbid, a player make less money.

Of course back then Rodriquez was coming here to play short, with Nomar Garciaparra going to the White Sox, Manny Ramirez shipping out to Texas and Magglio Ordonez replacing Manny. (By the way, I know we won it all in 2004 and Mags and A-Rod weren’t this productive before, but giving each player’s productivity this season, imagine the lineup today had that deal gone through? Oh, and Ortiz would be hitting in between them. Gulp.)

Now, the simple choice would be for the Sox to not resign Lowell and have A-Rod take over at third. Easy. But with Lowell’s resurgence as a premier run producer and his desire to stay in Boston as long as he gets more than a one-year deal, the Sox could potentially pencil in A-Rod at shortstop and trade Julio Lugo for 25 cents on the dollar like they did with Edgar Renteria.

That all depends, of course, on Henry’s accountants’ revenue projections (and trust me, I’m sure he’s done that).

That all makes for an interesting scenario. A-Rod may want to leave New York because of fan and media criticism and a money-grubbing agent. The Sox may have a hole at third or short. A-Rod wanted to come here before.

There’s just one more question: Do the Sox want A-Rod? This New York Daily News article may have the answer.

“One baseball source told the Daily News that Red Sox team president Larry Lucchino has wanted Rodriguez in a Boston uniform ever since the original deal collapsed, even after he was traded to the team’s hated rival. ‘Lucchino has never stopped wanting him,’ the source said.”

Things just got a lot more interesting.


6 Responses to A-Rod to Boston?

  1. Perk says:

    Best post yet….I would buy an Arod jersey in .3 seconds, and those who don’t want him here are free to stop being redsox/baseball fans forever because you are ignorant.

  2. Matty C says:

    Not to toot my own horn but I called Dale and Holley bored at work one day and brought this up in March, and they couldn’t believe such a statement.

    Well,as we creep closer to the post-season/off-season, I truly believe this will happen…makes too much sense not to. Boras and Theo work well together, and A-Rod would own that green monster.

    Plus the marketing guys would go nuts. You kidding me. Arod will shatter whatever mark Bonds sets if he stays healthy. Imagine number 800 landing on the pike? In the Red Sox pen? They’d make their money back during the home run chase it’d be a TV dream.

    Get em’ Theo. 8 years, 240mil gets it done.

  3. wolfie says:

    First of all, nice post Williams. Couple comments though.

    The Roush racing deal was signed to make money, not to sign ARod. Whether the two line up or not is just chance. You don’t go into a deal like that with a hypothetical.

    A lot of laundry with Rod. Hes just such a real pussy chooch that it doesn’t get me excited. He would hit a scary amount of HR’s in Fenway though. Give me Miggy Cabrera instead. Im straight with guaranteeing 30m to the Rod when Im 30 years old.

    Sucks that we are paying Lugo and Drew 25m per year right now by the way. Signing FA’s to large deals is a losing proposition. Please refer to the underachieving NYY lineup for an example.

  4. Rizzo says:

    If it doesn’t make “sense” to a Major League owner to buy probably the best player in baseball history when it’s said and done, then that Major League owner shouldn’t be allowed in the park. It would be wonderful television if 800 left the park in Kansas City. And it’s not just 30 or 40 million dollars. It’s that plus whatever puts you into the luxury tax margin, plus his 2 million dollar incentive for wiping his own ass, tying his spikes, etc. etc. which becomes a whole lot more money. Red Sox fans don’t jerk yourself retarded, there’s only a slim chance he’s leaving the Yankees, and if he does, then I’m sure you’ll figure out a way to blow it. And if the Yankees have such an underachieving lineup, then why are you so nervous?

  5. wolfie says:

    Hes absolutely out of NY Rizzo. Hes going to cash in on another contract with more guaranteed money. He almost has to in this inflated market. A-Rod is going to Anaheim to bask in the sun, hide from the press, and hit behind Vladdy.

    All Im saying is the Red Sox could sign him, I dont want them to, and the Nascar deal didn’t play any part in it.

    Boston doesn’t want to start spending over the luxury tax. Like you said, that needs to be factored in.

    ARod turns 32 in 10 days. He will be 40 years old making 30 million GUARANTEED? Count me out please.

  6. Scheity says:

    God, finally got a post with analysis longer than 200 words.

    Anyway, there’s no way Rodriguez stays in New York, Rizz. Cashman and Steinbrenner are still slugging Pepto begause of A-Rod’s 06 year, and even though he’s having the red carpet kinda year he’s having in 07, they’re gonna consider him a loser because the Yanks currently suck. Steinbrenner — and not the fluffy, lovable Steinbrenner in ‘The Bronx is Burning’ — is a crazy man who loves only players on winning teams. This is why people like Scott Brosius and Shane Spencer, not to mention Jeffrey Maier, exist in the Pantheon. Everybody else is tossed into the Loser Bin, Triple Crown or not. If the Yanks don’t make, or get close to making, the playoffs, expect Scorched Earth.

    And Boston’s gonna seem like the kiddie pool for A-Rod. Boston’s still not New York in terms of media market, and the writers here have a little more patience and a lot less rage. And the Hazel Mae meet & greet? Come on. Can’t beat it. Plus, if Lowell stays, he’ll be able to slide into his first position at short again. And maybe, just maybe, A-Rod would love to prove he’s a better SS than the Golden Boy in NYC.

    Now, as for whether the Sox should sign him or not…Sox fans are gonna have to seriously reconsider their relationship to the Yanks and baseball in general if it happens. It’d be the last stage of the waning Evil Empire, maybe even a passing of the torch, if Henry & Co. take this contract. And once you get used to the luxury tax, you start spending more and more.

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