A-Rod in Fantasyland

Alex Rodriguez with the Texas Rangers
The contract Alex Rodriguez signed with Texas in 2001 included a no-trade clause — that he waived only for the opportunity to play with the Yankees.

With nothing better to write about, some sportswriters and Internet posters are beating their drums for the Angels to acquire maligned Yankee Alex Rodriguez.

Steve Bisheff of the Orange County Register writes in today’s edition that the Angels should send the Yankees Ervin Santana, Chone Figgins and Nick Adenhart. Fans on Angels boards are posting their own ideas, convinced they know more than Angels GM Bill Stoneman does.

One thing Stoneman does know is … A-Rod’s not available.

It’s been reported many times in recent years that Rodriguez has a no-trade clause. He’s told the press he won’t waive the clause and intends to retire as a Yankee.

Sports Illustrated reported last July:

Rodriguez’s camp is annoyed about the media speculation and debate about whether the Yankees and A-Rod might be better off if they traded the 2005 American League MVP out of town following his spate of fielding faux pas. Furthermore, they want it known that Rodriguez wouldn’t accept a trade, in any case. Rodriguez’s 10-year, $252 million contract contains a blanket no-trade clause.

“Alex chose New York, and after 2½ years of playing in New York, he has nothing but the greatest respect for New York Yankee fans and the Yankee organization,” Rodriguez’s agent Scott Boras said. “He has a no-trade clause in his contract and he does not intend to play anywhere else in the near future.”

SI‘s Jon Heyman wrote on September 27, “One Yankees person insisted ‘A-Rod isn’t going anywhere,’ and Rodriguez has continued to say he loves New York and wouldn’t even consider waiving his no-trade clause.” But Heyman goes on to play what-if, since acknowledging reality pretty much kills his column at that point.

About the only factor working in the Angels’ favor is that Boras, a Newport Beach resident, has a good working relationship with Stoneman and Angels owner Arte Moreno. But such a conversation can’t happen unless the Yankees grant permission.

Some on the Internet may post clueless demands like “GET IT DONE, STONEMAN!!!” and claim that A-Rod is available for “cheap” but in the real world it’s not going to happen unless Rodriguez changes his mind — and the Yankees decide to consider a trade.

UPDATE 8:30 PM PDT
The Associated Press reports
yet again that Alex Rodriguez won’t waive his no-trade clause and the Yankees
have no intention of trading him.

2 Comments

Have you heard about a little thing called “posturing”? Why would the Yankees ever admit now that they’re going to try to deal A-Rod in the offseason? That would throw away all the bargaining power they could have. A-Rod hasn’t hinted around with his comments that he would have no choice but to accept a tried if they wanted him gone. Sure it’s no guaruntee he’s going to be traded this offseason, but this proves nothing. It’s well known he doesn’t “want” to be traded, but if Steinbrenner wants him gone, there is no way he’s going to stay in that situation. So just because he has a no trade clause (which is common knowledge to most of the baseball fans that you refer to and are so “lower” to your greatness) doesn’t mean he won’t be traded.

Saying that “A-Rod’s not available” is only 5% less silly than “A-Rod’s available.” The fault in both cases is the absolutism of statements that are, in fact, guesses.

It is perfectly *possible* — given the fact that Steinbrenner’s pissed off, Joe Torre’s back for another year, and A-Rod’s confidence was shook up pretty good in the playoffs — that the Yankees *would* consider a trade, and A-Rod *would* consider waiving his no-trade clause. Such things have happened before.

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