The Yankees have changed their traditional stance and are now willing to negotiate during the season with their star third baseman on a contract extension, MLB sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.
The key sticking point for the Yankees in the prospective negotiations is that Rodriguez agree not to opt out of his current contract after this season and agree to add any extension to the current contract, which expires after the 2010 season.
Approximately one-third of the remaining $81 million of the current contract is being paid by the Texas Rangers, which was part of the trade that brought Rodriguez to New York.
Though the Yankees are underperforming so far this season, it's not A-Rod's fault. Rodriguez leads the major leagues at the All-Star break with 30 home runs and 86 RBIs and has a .317 average.