Last Updated on October 22, 2023 at 11:17 am by Sara Molnick
There was a time when Alex Rodriguez expressed his desire to join the New York Mets and asked his agent to pursue a possible deal even at a 50% lower salary. The ex-Yankees player shared this intriguing story during an appearance on WFAN’s “Evan and Tiki Show” on Thursday.
Alex Rodriguez indicated he was inspired by the rivalry between basketball legends Magic Johnson (Los Angeles Lakers) and Larry Bird (Boston Celtics). He thought that a similar rivalry between himself and Derek Jeter would be exciting, little did he know that they would become teammates later on.
Rivalry with Jeter pushed Alex Rodriguez to seek a Mets deal
Alex Rodriguez discussed the possibility of becoming a Met earlier in his career, specifically during his free agency in 2000. This was before he became a prominent figure with the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees as one of MLB’s premier superstars, Alex Rodriguez expressed his desire to join the New York Mets. In fact, he was willing to accept a contract below his market value.
According to his admission, Alex Rodriguez informed his agent, Scott Boras, that he would be willing to accept a 50% reduction in salary to join the New York Mets. He believed it would create a perfect narrative, not only for himself but also for the Mets and the sport of baseball.
Growing up as a Mets fan, Alex Rodriguez idolized the Mets legend Keith Hernandez. During the reports surrounding his free agency, there were claims that the former Yankees star made some unique requests, such as a private jet, office space, and even a tent at spring training to promote and sell his merchandise.
Mets denied his request
Former Mets general manager Steve Phillips mentioned that they had withdrawn from negotiations before the financial terms of the deal were discussed. However, Alex Rodriguez denies making such demands.
Alex Rodriguez recounted that he had proposed a 50 percent reduction in salary to the Mets, and when he saw the New York Post headline declaring “24 plus 1,” he clarified that he didn’t want more money; instead, he wanted less.
The player went on to sign the biggest contract in American sports history twice during his career. First, a 10-year, $252 million deal with the Texas Rangers in 2000, and then with the New York Yankees in 2007, a 10-year, $275 million contract. He opted out of his initial contract with the Rangers when he was traded to the Yankees.
The Yankees acquired A-Rod from the Rangers in 2004, trading Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later, which turned out to be Joaquin Arias. Rodriguez spent the final 13 years of his career in the Bronx, where he posted impressive statistics, including a .283 batting average, a .900 OPS, 351 home runs, and 1,096 RBI. He played a pivotal role in the Yankees’ 2009 World Series victory, earned two MVP awards, and led the league in home runs on two occasions.
Alex Rodriguez admitted that he had never received a clear explanation about the situation, and he refrained from speculating on the reasons behind it. He expressed his disappointment, considering that he had been a Mets fan during his childhood and had believed that joining the team would have been an excellent fit.
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