In a week or two from now, we may know the full details of this apparent about face that both the Yankees and Alex Rodriguez have now done.
The story goes as follows, at least if you are to believe the New York Daily News: A-Rod contacted the Yankees, hoping that they would consider talking to him. The Yankees agreed, on the conditions that A-Rod take a “below market” contract, and Scott Boras would be kept out of the negotiations. Willing to do anything to be a Yankee, A-Rod agreed, and a deal is imminent.
Now consider the source. The paper cited an anonymous “high-ranking” Yankee official, which almost always means an anonymous Steinbrenner (although that anonymous Steinbrenner is likely a bit younger this time). The Yankees are clearly trying to shape this story in a way that suits them, and certain grumpy writers are buying it.
Now let’s consider reality. A year ago, despite the contracts handed out last winter, no one realistically thought A-
Rod could come close to duplicating the total money on his last deal. Now, the Yankees are apparently defining 10 years for $275 million as below market value.
But what is market value? Really, it’s whatever price people will pay for that asset on the open market. If there were teams lining up to pay significantly more than $275 million for A-Rod, he probably wouldn’t be talking to the Yankees right now. Instead, the market value that the Yankees seem to be referring to is the $350 million price tag that Boras set himself.
So consider: Boras sets an incredibly high price, and the media calls him names. But by doing so, he raises the bar, and makes a lower (but still outrageously high) number seem not only palatable, but “below market value.”
People love to hate Scott Boras, but he continues to win. And don’t be mistaken, this is a major victory. Nobody has come within $100 million of A-Rod’s last deal since the 2000-01 winter, and now it looks like he will beat that one by at least ten percent.
Is it possible that A-Rod and Boras are really on the outs? And that the Steinbrenners drove the wedge between them? And that A-Rod is taking millions less than he could have, to the dismay of Boras?
It’s possible, but not likely. Boras has proven again and again that he is a fantastic businessman, and is almost always well ahead of the curve. And while those that hate him will milk this story as much as they can, this is just another example of Boras outperforming his peers.
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