Yankees on verge of signing A-Rod

Posted: Monday, February 16, 2004

NEW YORK Alex Rodriguez is one step from New York.

The New York Yankees and Texas Rangers finalized the terms of their shocking trade Sunday, and the players' association approved the deal for the American League MVP.

All that remains is for baseball commissioner Bud Selig to give his OK, which the teams expect Monday. The Yankees planned a Tuesday news conference in New York to introduce the newest prize in their collection of All-Stars.

''I was just as surprised as the Yankee fans and the Boston Red Sox fans when I opened up my paper today,'' President Bush, the Rangers' former owner, told NBC at the Daytona 500.

Texas will pay $67 million of the $179 million left on Rodriguez's record $252 million, 10-year contract, and will get All-Star Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named.

The Rangers will wind up paying $140 million for three seasons with Rodriguez, an average of $46.7 million annually for three last-place finishes in the AL West. The Yankees will owe him $112 million over seven years.

New York will raise its payroll to about $190 million.

''The disparity is not healthy for the sport,'' Arizona Diamondbacks owner Jerry Colangelo said. ''But everyone runs their team the way they see fit, and they did it by the rules.''

Rodriguez will move from shortstop, a position where he's been a seven-time All-Star, to third base, where he will replace injured Aaron Boone. The Yankees will keep their captain, Derek Jeter, at shortstop.

Under the deal, the Yankees will pay Rodriguez $15 million in each of the next three seasons, $16 million each in 2007 and 2008, $17 million in 2009 and $18 million in 2010, according to contract information obtained by the AP from player and management sources.

In each of the first four years, $1 million would be deferred without interest, to be paid in 2011.

The trade calls for Texas to pay $43 million of Rodriguez's salary over the remaining seven years: $3 million in 2004, $6 million each in 2005, 2006 and 2010, $7 million apiece in 2007 and 2009 and $8 million in 2008. In addition, the Rangers will pay the $24 million remaining in deferred money from the original contract, with the interest rate lowered from 3 percent to 2 percent.

In exchange for the alterations, which devalue the present-day value of the contract by $5 million, Rodriguez will get a hotel suite on road trips, have the right to link his Web site to the Yankees' site and get a guarantee that the deferred money won't be wiped out by a work stoppage.

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