Even so, the likelihood of Boston or the Yankees finding maneuverability to acquire the shortstop's salary -- he has seven years left on a 10-year, $252 million contract -- is very slim, given their offseason priorities.
The Red Sox have Nomar Garciaparra at short and are weighed down by Manny Ramirez's $20 million-per-year salary. Boston had looked into the possibility of acquiring Rodriguez earlier this offseason until Ramirez went unclaimed on waivers.
The Yankees need a right fielder and starting pitching and have captain Derek Jeter, an All-Star, at shortstop.
General manager John Hart did not comment when reached by The Morning News. Rodriguez and agent Scott Boras also were not available for comment, according to the newspaper.
Hart has said a few inquiries about
Rodriguez got no further that "kicking the tires," the newspaper
Hart did not immediately return a telephone call to The
Associated Press Sunday night.
Boras said last week that he had heard nothing about talks moving past the preliminary stages, The Morning News reported.
The newspaper said that numerous baseball officials have
confirmed the Rangers' claims that there are no serious talks for
Rodriguez because of his contract.
Rodriguez said at a news conference Friday that Rangers owner Tom Hicks told him there are three possible scenarios to Rodriguez's future with the team:
1. The Rangers stick with his contract.
2. Rodriguez could accept a contract restructuring to free more money to attract other good players.
3. The Rangers might shop their top player around.
The Rangers won't eat any of Rodriguez's salary, according to The Morning News.
"It's that extra $5 million a year that makes it [untradeable]," one GM told the newspaper. "At the time they signed him, $20 million wouldn't have been that bad, but there's nobody else over $20 million."
Rodriguez does not have the option to sacrifice money himself -- the Major League Baseball Players' Association does not allow players to restructure their contracts to reduce the value.
This season Rodriguez hit .298, tied for the major league lead
with 47 homers, and led the AL in runs (124) and slugging
percentage (.600). He had 118 RBIs.
Regarded by many as the league's best all-around player,
Rodriguez became the first American League player to win the MVP
while playing for a last-place team.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.