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Alex Rodriguez wants to come to Boston. He has told Bud Selig, Rangers owner Tom Hicks, and Red Sox ownership as much.
Even agent Scott Boras has stated of A-Rod, ""Whatever happens, Boston fans will know he certainly made a good-faith effort to try to work this thing through."
But the trade that would send Rodriguez to Boston for Manny Ramirez and pitching prospect Jon Lester has hit a financial snag as Tuesday's 5 PM deadline imposed by Hicks approaches.
The Rangers want Boston to contribute money to help pay off Ramirez' contract, which has $81 million more remaining on it than A-Rod's. At first, Hicks wanted $25 million, now he would "settle" for half of that.
With various Red Sox officials referring to the deal as dead instead of done, blame has already started to spread like wildfire.
The agent blamed the teams, the commissioner the union, and so on.
Even Curt Schilling has publicly criticized the union after it rejected A-Rod's restructured contract proposal, which first was reduced by $28 million, but now is down to a $13 million "discount" which satisfied the union brass because it gives A-Rod access to the Red Sox logo for his personal marketing purposes, a deal which the union values at, you guessed it, $13 million.
Although this comes as no surprise in the modern day era of free agency, money will be put ahead of winning and what's best for the teams and players.
But for the sake of all involved, the deal makes sense.
A-Rod wants out and the backlash in Texas will be severe if he stays. Plus, it is well known that he does not get along with Rangers manager Buck Showalter.
The Red Sox want to rid themselves of Manny Ramirez, who doesn't seem to care either way how this thing unfolds, except that he wouldn't mind playing in New York if possible.
Nomar Garciaparra won't feel very welcome if the deal falls apart, and who can blame him?
Another deal hinges on the Ramirez-Rodriguez swap, as Nomar and Scott Williamson would be dealt to the White Sox for left fielder Magglio Ordonez.
The Red Sox are willing to overspend the luxury-tax threshold of $120.5 million for next season, but don't want to go higher than $130 million.
Those numbers themselves are absurd and so is the ongoing saga. It appears players aren't as free to move about as we've been led to believe.
And as a result, A-Rod will remain in Arlington, Manny and Nomar in Boston, and the players' union would like to have us believe that the trade failed because it was not in the best interest of its members.
Only time will tell the outcome, but time is running out. It looks like the union will win again, with A-Rod doomed to last place.