104,000 extra tickets bridge salary gap

NEW YORK -- In just four days, Alex Rodriguez has nearly
paid for himself this year, at least as far as the New York Yankees
are concerned.

New York has sold nearly 104,000 tickets worth a total of $4.6 million since Monday, when it acquired the American League MVP from
the Texas Rangers. The sales are double the amount for the same
period last year, the team said Thursday.

By acquiring Rodriguez, the Yankees committed themselves to an
additional $1.6 million in salary this year -- they owe him $14
million and are saving $12.4 million in what would have been paid
to Aaron Boone, Drew Henson and Alfonso Soriano.

By selling 22,000 tickets Monday, 23,000 Tuesday, 27,000
Wednesday and 26,700 Thursday, New York raised its season total to
2,334,000. Those tickets have an average price of $44.69, the team
said, meaning the Yankees have sold $104.3 million of seats.

In addition, New York received deposits for full and partial
season plans that translate to an additional 5,000 total tickets.

New York is 105,000 tickets ahead of its pace last year, when
the Yankees drew a team record 3,465,550, and 277,000 tickets ahead
of 2002.

The Yankees will pay $14 million this season to Rodriguez, and
owe him another $1 million in 2004 salary that is deferred without
interest until Jan. 15, 2011.

He will receive an additional $3 million this year from Texas,
and also will get $3 million in 2004 salary from Texas that is
deferred at 1.75 percent until June 15, 2016.

New York saved $5.4 million by trading second baseman Soriano to
Texas, $2.2 million by releasing third baseman Henson and will save
another $4.8 million by terminating the $5.75 million contract of
third baseman Boone, who tore a ligament in his left knee and will
miss most or all of the season. New York says that because Boone
violated the guarantee language of his contract, he is owed 30
days' termination pay, which comes to $917,553.