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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Yearbook, Dec. 11: A-Rod's record deal

By Patrick Dorsey

Dec. 11, 2000: Before this date 12 years ago, the largest contract in baseball history belonged to pitcher Mike Hampton, who signed just days earlier for eight years, $121 million.

Then Alex Rodriguez happened.

Yes, the man who would go on to be one of the most polarizing players around started down that path with a staggering (even now) 10-year, $252 million deal handed him and agent Scott Boras by Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks.

Worth the money? Almost certainly not. Although Rodriguez averaged 52 homers and posted a 1.000-plus OPS during his first three years outside Seattle, his exorbitant salary hurt the Rangers' flexibility, and they averaged 72 wins during his stay. That stay ended in 2004, with -- of course -- the trade to the New York Yankees (with whom A-Rod eventually signed an even larger contract, at $275 million).

Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks and Scott Boras
Hicks and Boras.
Alex Rodriguez and Tom Hicks with the Texas Rangers
Rodriguez and Hicks.
Alex Rodriguez after signing with the Texas Rangers