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Monday, October 22, 2007
Yankees prep for face-to-face talks with A-Rod

ESPN.com news services

The New York Yankees have requested a face-to-face meeting with Alex Rodriguez in an effort to keep the prized third baseman from opting out of his contract and becoming a free agent.

A-Rod Worth A Lot

Alex Rodriguez has an impressive career resume, which figures only to grow. Some of his career highlights:

• Youngest ever to hit 300 HR, 400 HR, 450 HR, 500 HR
• 6 straight 40-HR seasons; 10 straight 30-HR seasons
• 3 50-HR seasons
• 2 MVPs (2003 & 2005)

In addition, he's on the short list of players who have led baseball in home runs, RBIs and runs in the same season:

Player HR RBIs Runs
Alex Rodriguez, 2007 54 156 143
Roger Maris, 1961 61 142 132
Mickey Mantle, 1956 52 130 132
Johnny Mize, 1947 51 138 137
Ted Williams, 1942 36 137 141

The Yankees are making plans for a meeting with Rodriguez and his agent, Scott Boras, to persuade the slugger from opting out.

"Apparently we will talk soon, I am told," Boras said, according to the New York Post. "I would expect it will include all parties."

Rodriguez has until the 10th day following the World Series to decide whether to opt out of his record $252 million, 10-year contract and become a free agent.

Boras wouldn't tell the Post whether the Yankees had already made an offer but said that he and Rodriguez wanted to hear what direction Hank and Hal Steinbrenner intended to take the team before they talked dollars.

"We have been very clear with the Yankees that we are not in the economic phase of the process," Boras told the Post. "We are considering our next step and that will be preceded by taking in information. We want to be thorough. Alex wants to know the intentions of Hank and Hal."

The newspaper reported that the Steinbrenners have cleared general manager Brian Cashman to make offers to Rodriguez and soon-to-be free agents Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera.

Cashman has made it clear that the team will not pursue Rodriguez as a free agent if he opts out of his contract.

Rodriguez is guaranteed salaries of $24 million in each of the next three seasons from the Yankees, who receive $21.3 million from Texas as part of the 2004 trade that brought A-Rod to New York. If Rodriguez opts out, the Yankees would lose that subsidy.

"We'll do what we think is appropriate and live with his decision," Cashman told The New York Times on Sunday. "If he opts out, it's a statement that this isn't the place he wants to be."

On Monday in Tampa, Fla., Hank Steinbrenner again reiterated the Yankees' position on Rodriguez.

"We want him to stay and I would think he would want to stay. We've made it clear if he opts out, goodbye," Steinbrenner said.

Asked whether Boras understands the Yankees' position, Steinbrenner responded: "I think he does now."

Speaking in an interview with CNNMoney.com on Saturday, Boras said the fact former Yankees manager Joe won't be in the Yankees' dugout could hinder the team's interest in offering his client a lavish extension before his opt-out date of Nov. 10.

"I would say that state of flux is a grand issue," Boras said Saturday. "We're talking about a long-term contract here, and to make that decision is difficult, knowing there are that many issues up in the air."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.