Damned Yankee: The Greatest Trade Never Made

The Guru
Contributing Writer

With the breaking news on ESPN.com concerning Major League Baseball’s investigation and possible suspensions of 20 players linked to steroid use, one is left to wonder. What if?

What if the Red Sox pursuit of Alex Rodriquez in December of 2003 had succeeded? Had A-Rod ended up in a Boston uniform there is no telling what things might be like in 2013. You thought a year of Bobby V was bad, imagine ten years of A-Rod. John Henry and the gang may have run this ship aground years ago.

Following the Grady Little/Aaron Boone Game 7 loss to the Yankees in the 2003 ALCS, the Red Sox put Manny Ramirez on waivers and set their sights on one Alex Rodriguez. At the time, A-Rod was the best player in the game and three years into a 10-year, $250 million contract with the Texas Rangers. In order to make room for Rodriguez, the Sox put together a deal with the Chicago White Sox that would have sent fan favorite Nomar Garciaparra to Chicago for Magglio Ordonez and Manny would've been a Ranger.

All the Red Sox had to do was dot a few i's, cross a few t's, fudge some numbers, schedule a press conference, pop the champagne and one of the biggest trades in baseball history would have been consummated.

The Major League Players Association had other ideas. Because Rodriguez was going to restructure his contract to take less money ($28 million less) the MLBPA ultimately killed the deal.

The Yankees were all smiles as they swooped in, backed up the Brinks truck and ponied up the cash putting A-Rod in pinstripes.

Since that day, the Red Sox have ended a curse, won two World Series, Nomar has retired, Manny is in Taiwan and the Yankees owe A-Rod $114 million over the next five years — including $28 million this season with just one title to show for it.

Rodriguez admitted in 2009 to using performance-enhancing drugs. With MLB’s (and the DEA) investigation of the Biogenesis anti-aging lab in Miami, Rodriguez is linked once more to PEDs. A-Rod, who has not played this season after undergoing his second career hip surgery in January, now faces a 100-game suspension.

We may never see A-Roid again.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is not going to look away this time. There’s 20 names on the hit list; Ryan Braun, Melky Cabrera and others. But the biggest fish is Rodriguez. Rodriguez currently stands at 647 home runs. Selig won’t let the records of Ruth and Aaron be tarnished again.

The Cheaters Hall of Shame will soon have a new member. Barry Bonds, Bernie Madoff, Lance Armstrong, please welcome Alex Rodriguez.

Who’s smiling now?

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