Agent Scott Boras said the instability surrounding Joe Torre's departure from the New York Yankees could impact whether his client Alex Rodriguez returns to New York or joins another team. Speaking in an interview with CNNMoney.com, Boras said the big void in the Yankees' dugout could hinder the team's interest in offering his client a lavish extension before his opt-out date of Nov. 10.
"I would say that state of flux is a grand issue," Boras said Saturday. "We're talking about a long-term contract here, and to make that decision is difficult, knowing there are that many issues up in the air."
Rodriguez has until the 10th day following the World Series to decide whether to opt out of his record $252 million, 10-year contract and become a free agent. The Yankees plan to offer him an extension and say they would drop out of talks if A-Rod opts out.
Boras said all the uncertainty surrounding former manager Torre's rejection of a contract offer Thursday could make it difficult to seal an agreement before the deadline on the opt-out. He also suggested the Yankees' upcoming negotiations with Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte, and their decision on whether to exercise right fielder Bobby Abreu's $16 million option will also be factored into Rodriguez's thinking.
"Without Pettitte, Rivera and Posada, it's not the same team," CNNMoney.com quoted Boras as saying. "He's held accountable for being on a playoff team and winning in the playoffs."
Rodriguez is guaranteed salaries of $24 million in each of the next three seasons from the Yankees, who receive $21.3 million from Texas as part of the 2004 trade that brought A-Rod to New York. If Rodriguez opts out, the Yankees would lose that subsidy.
Boras said in the article that given that the daily running of the Yankees has been taken over by owner George Steinbrenner's sons, he wonders just how deep their commitment to winning runs.
"We have to see if the Steinbrenner philosophy of old is the Steinbrenner philosophies of the present," said Boras, who negotiated Rodriguez's record deal with the Texas Rangers before the 2001 season.
Boras emphasized, however, that Rodriguez has not shut the door on agreeing to a contract extension with the Yankees before the team's opt-out window closes.
"I've done this for over 30 years," he said. "I have a real understanding for the ranges of the value of the player is. If the team knows the value of the player, they can reach a deal. If not, you move forward."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.