If Alex Rodriguez was granted some sort of do-over during his 22-year Major League career, he probably would’ve spent more time playing in New York and soaking up the limelight.
But those additional seasons wouldn’t have taken place in the Bronx. They would’ve been in Queens.
On Sunday night during the Nationals-Mets game, Rodriguez — who is now an analyst on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” — briefly lamented over his decision to sign with the Texas Rangers as a free agent after the 2000 season, since he envisioned a pleasant future with the Mets.
“I thought I would make great concessions to go play for the Mets,” said Rodriguez, who grew up as a fan of the team and their first baseman Keith Hernandez. “I thought it was a great story for baseball.”
Rodriguez and the Mets shared mutual interest that offseason, but a deal was never deemed practical, due to lofty requests made by Rodriguez’s agent, Scott Boras. According to an ESPN story from 2011, Boras reportedly handed the Mets a long list of demands — even before the team offered Rodriguez a contract — which included a private jet, a luxury box, an office in Shea Stadium, and a staff for marketing and merchandising.
Ultimately, Rodriguez signed a whopping 10-year, $252 million deal with Texas, and less than four years later, the premiere shortstop was traded to the Yankees, where he played until his retirement in 2016.
Boras came up in conversation on Sunday, and it appears that Rodriguez gave his former agent a slight jab.
“I would just say this: if I was to do it again, I would just take control of my career a lot more,” Rodriguez said.
Two years ago, former Mets general manager Steve Phillips offered his thoughts on what could’ve been with Rodriguez that winter. Although Phillips is remembered for rejecting Boras’s terms and taking a strong stance on teams overpaying for players, he did admit that negotiations didn’t play out the right way.
“I still feel the same about structure and teams and everything else today that I did before, that there has to be the same rules for everybody, even if the discipline or consequences may be different,” Phillips told the New York Daily News. “But maybe some part of it was my own inflexibility when I look back… Maybe if I hadn’t been so inflexible and been willing to negotiate some of those terms, maybe it could’ve been different.”
Although Rodriguez’s career is shrouded by his admittance of using performance-enhancing drugs, he hit .295 lifetime, and his 696 home runs are ranked fourth-most all-time.