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A-Rod's desire for trade may have diminished



Special to ESPN.com

The Alex Rodriguez-Manny Ramirez trade essentially has come down to its final hours.

Ramirez
Ramirez

Rodriguez
Rodriguez

The money the Red Sox have to pay the Rangers and the money Rodriguez is allowed to move essentially is equal, making it a straight trade that may come down to Boston owner John Henry.

Sources close to the negotiations say that after dealing with Boston owners Henry and Tom Werner, Rangers owner Tom Hicks has lowered his asking price from $25 million to $13 million. After nearly two days of negotiations with the union, Rodriguez's agent Scott Boras has moved the union from approving a $5 million restructuring of A-Rod's contract to $13 million.

Rodriguez took a wait-and-see approach, saying Saturday he didn't want to comment publicly on the status of the on-and-off deal. But, according to sources, Rodriguez's passion for this trade has diminished, both because of his relationship with Hicks and his encounters with Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino.

Rodriguez was reportedly incensed when a Lucchino statement Wednesday not only made reference to Alex and his wife -- neither of whom Lucchino has ever met -- but also tried to drive a stake between A-Rod and the union, portraying Rodriguez as some union-buster who cared little for his fellow players.

"What happens from here on out will depend on whether John Henry steps forward, and undoes some of the damage rendered by his employee Lucchino," said one source.

Lucchino is vacationing with family in Pittsburgh and was taken off the negotiations with Hicks. When that happened, progress was finally made.

Meanwhile, Boras headed home to California on Saturday, blaming the Red Sox and Rangers for the collapse of the deal. Rodriguez, who has spent the week in New York on vacation with his wife, planned to leave town Sunday.

The Red Sox proclaimed the trade "dead" Thursday, blaming the Major League Baseball Players Association for not approving a $28 million to $30 million reduction in Rodriguez's $252 million, 10-year contract. Texas, also blaming the union, said it wasn't prepared to say talks were over.

"We worked very hard on this deal," Boras said Saturday. "Alex has done everything he can to show his good faith by committing $13 million. The two sides were $20 million apart. You would think mutual concessions by both teams would allow this deal to happen."

The players' association said it would allow a restructuring of the contract but not a reduction. Boras proposed that the remaining $179 million Rodriguez is owed over the next seven years be reduced by $12 million -- $13 million if interest on deferred money is included -- in exchange for his client gaining the right to use Boston's logos in marketing deals.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.






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