Report: Only two clubs to his liking

Updated: November 24, 2003, 12:15 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Alex Rodriguez told media in the Dominican Republic on Friday that he's informed the Rangers of two teams to which he would accept a trade.

And, not that the rivalry needs more coals thrown on it, the Red Sox and Yankees are Rodriguez's preferences, The Dallas Morning News, citing a major league source, reported Sunday.

Even so, the likelihood of Boston or the Yankees finding maneuverability to acquire the shortstop's salary -- he has seven years left on a 10-year, $252 million contract -- is very slim, given their offseason priorities.

The Red Sox have Nomar Garciaparra at short and are weighed down by Manny Ramirez's $20 million-per-year salary. Boston had looked into the possibility of acquiring Rodriguez earlier this offseason until Ramirez went unclaimed on waivers.

The Yankees need a right fielder and starting pitching and have captain Derek Jeter, an All-Star, at shortstop.

General manager John Hart did not comment when reached by The Morning News. Rodriguez and agent Scott Boras also were not available for comment, according to the newspaper.

Hart has said a few inquiries about Rodriguez got no further that "kicking the tires," the newspaper reported.

Hart did not immediately return a telephone call to The Associated Press Sunday night.

Boras said last week that he had heard nothing about talks moving past the preliminary stages, The Morning News reported.

The newspaper said that numerous baseball officials have confirmed the Rangers' claims that there are no serious talks for Rodriguez because of his contract.

Rodriguez said at a news conference Friday that Rangers owner Tom Hicks told him there are three possible scenarios to Rodriguez's future with the team:

  • 1. The Rangers stick with his contract.

  • 2. Rodriguez could accept a contract restructuring to free more money to attract other good players.

  • 3. The Rangers might shop their top player around.

    The Rangers won't eat any of Rodriguez's salary, according to The Morning News.

    "It's that extra $5 million a year that makes it [untradeable]," one GM told the newspaper. "At the time they signed him, $20 million wouldn't have been that bad, but there's nobody else over $20 million."

    Rodriguez does not have the option to sacrifice money himself -- the Major League Baseball Players' Association does not allow players to restructure their contracts to reduce the value.

    This season Rodriguez hit .298, tied for the major league lead with 47 homers, and led the AL in runs (124) and slugging percentage (.600). He had 118 RBIs.

    Regarded by many as the league's best all-around player, Rodriguez became the first American League player to win the MVP while playing for a last-place team.

    Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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