Easy baked

Color me suspicious, but doesn’t this A-Rod development seem all a bit too easy?

By most accounts, Alex Rodriguez’s new contract with the Yankees — a reported decade-long deal worth around $275 million — is “imminent,” but I’m not buying it. Imminent for Scott Boras usually means sometime around Christmas Eve.

Now all of a sudden the Yankees third baseman is willing to eschew the agent who made him the richest man in baseball history?


Maybe A-Rod does want to go crawling back to the Yankees. After all, the money he and his agent anticipated to be offered from the Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, and Cubs, likely didn’t come near the dollars they were initially expecting.
Or maybe Boras and Rodriguez need the Yankees simply to drive up the price.
Nobody does the negotiating ploy better than Boras does it. And while we might be witnessing a mammoth change of heart going on with A-Rod and the Yankees, more likely it’s a means to an end of squeezing the most cash out of whatever team possible.
It all depends on how badly certain teams want A-Rod, for sure. Are the Angels, Dodgers, or Red Sox willing to make another call to Boras today and up their offer based on what their hearing today? You can bet that’s what they’re hoping for.
Remember how “imminent” it was that Rodriguez was coming to Boston?
Rodriguez could indeed be sincere about returning to the Yankees for all we know, especially if he doesn’t get someone else to bite in a desperation move. It will be played as not wanting to leave “The Yankees” when in reality it will be the realization that he couldn’t suck the same amount of cash out of anyone else.
Writes Newsday’s Wallace Matthews: “After all, unless Rodriguez is even more duplicitous and disloyal than even I would have thought possible, there is no earthly reason for him to be displeased with his agent. Seven years ago, Boras promised A-Rod the richest contract in the history of sports. He delivered. And seven years later, the deal remains untouched.
“So now, a full two days into the free-agent negotiation period, you’re telling me A-Rod is getting impatient with Boras? Don’t be a tool.”
It’s being detailed as a change of heart elsewhere in the New York media, which apparently has fallen right into the trap set for everyone by Boras and Co. Bottom line is, the best route to the richest deal was through the Yankees. And if that means without Boras, then so be it. That 5 percent is going into his pocket no matter who else is in the room once A-Rod signs. What does he care?
The Dodgers, Sox, and Angels are now on the clock to beat $275 million and 10 years, neither of which would appear to be a reality. Right now, it appears nobody but the Yankees wants this guy this badly. But I wouldn’t rule out seeing him in a different uniform entirely just yet.
Meanwhile, while Red Sox fans figure this is good news for their team’s chances to sign Mike Lowell, today comes the news that the Yankees might ask the free agent Gold Glove third baseman to play first base. Hey, they got A-Rod to move his position, why not Lowell, too? Realistically, it’s not a move that makes a whole lot of sense, considering his range on the left side of the infield, a factor that can make up for any possible dip in offensive production.
“All I can say at this time is that the Yankees have engaged us,” Lowell’s agent, Seth Levinson told the New York Post.
According to one report, the Yankees have done more than “engage” Lowell. Channel 7 reported on its website Wednesday night that four teams – the Braves, Angels, Cardinals, and Yankees – have each offered Lowell a four-year contract worth between $55 million and $60 million.
If Lowell is insistent on that fourth year, our guess is that the Phillies might get involved and suck it up and give it to him. Otherwise, the bet here is the likelihood of him playing in Boston the next three years is a pretty good.
Unless he suddenly wants to play first base, of course, across the diamond from the man some thought would replace him in Boston. Together they’d be worth the $350 million Scott Boras originally sought.
Does that count on his resume?