7 Year Itch
Scott Boras has a reason for everything he does. When he negotiated Alex Rodriguez's 10-year, $252M contract with the Rangers in December 2000 (a deal that was exactly twice as rich as Kevin Garnettıs then-record $126M deal with the Timberwolves), Boras looked into the future and added a stipulation: an opt-out clause after the seventh season. Why seven years?
"First, Alex was going to be 32, his peak age," Boras says. "We wanted him to have the option of a new deal when he was at his prime. Second, I knew the CBA would be at least a year old by then." He's referring to the Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB and the players union, which, as Boras predicted, went into effect this season. "If the CBA was in, teams would be confident that revenue streams were solid. It meant they would be able to afford our terms." A-Rod's 2004 trade to the Yankees ensured that Boras would have his client in the perfect place at the perfect time for the biggest possible payday.
Boras was wrong about one thing, though: A-Rod's production has been 10 percent higher than predicted. "So no," Boras admits, "we did not plan on him having a monster season this year when we were doing the contract."
That would have been too perfect.