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Alex Rodriguez's Contract With the Yankees: A Case Study in Odd Contract Negotiations

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Three years ago Alex Rodriguez announced he was opting out of his contract with the Yankees on the same night the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. The Yankees said throughout the 2007 campaign that they would not attempt to resign the third baseman if he opted out of his contract because voiding the contract also voided the obligation of the Texas Rangers to pay part of his salary.

Rodriguez later signed a record setting contract to remain a Yankee. What happened? Rodriguez worked back channels without his agent. He went to his friend, Warren Buffett, the most trusted corporate leader in America, who advised him to go around the agent. A-Rod spoke with an executive he knew at Goldman Sachs.  That executive put him in touch with another Goldman man who used to work with the YES Network, the cable channel owned by the Yankees. That got him a pipeline to the Yankees.

It is quite possible that this story could have been broken by a CNBC reporter with connections to Goldman before a Yankees beat writer. Traditional media members with a usually reliable source, the agent, would have been left in the cold and had bad information.

We never know what is happening behind the scenes. We do not know who is talking to whom. We do not know who knows whom. People normally in the know might not be in any given instance.

That is why it is dangerous to discount reports from outside reporters in the Darrelle Revis negotiations. That is why we report them here on GGN. I have the utmost respect for most of the beat writers the Jets have. They are largely professional. They might be right that the sides are not close. However, four different sources say the sides are. The truth will come out, but it would be a mistake to discount anybody. Who would have thought John Mallory would know more about Alex Rodriguez's dealings with the Yankees than Scott Boras?