JC Bradbury explains quite credibly why the Yankees won’t be signing A-Rod (it has something to do with beer at kids birthday parties), but doesn’t get into why A-Rod (led, no doubt, by Scott Boras) opted out so quickly. I think I have a good idea.
Given the 10 day window for opting out (and negotiating) with the Yankees, Boras/A-Rod were looking at intense scrutiny and no leverage. Sure, the Yankees bid would be subsidized by the Rangers, but Boras would be unable to counter it with other offers he was receiving. He won’t know how high the Yankees would have gone, but given the overall numbers he’s seeking, $21M is a rounding error (nearly). And if they didn’t go high enough he’d be looking at an offer that would surely have been made public and would be seen (probably) as something of an upper limit in his negotiations with other teams.
So, Boras/A-Rod rejected the Yanks before they had a chance to define the negotiations (and possibly reject A-Rod), and thus opened up a competition among all the other teams for A-Rod’s services. I think this surely means that Rodriguez wasn’t serious when he said how much he wanted to play in NY, and I will be surprised when some team signs him for more than it appears the Yankees were offering (a bump up in the final three years of his current agreement to $31M or so, and an extension for five more after that, or $248M, is what I heard). [link thanks to baseballmusings.com]