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Seven-Year Itch

Why did super agent Scott Boras insist on an opt-out clause for A-Rod back in 2000? Let the master explain

From ESPN The Magazine

Scott Boras has a reason for everything he does. When he negotiated Alex Rodriguez's 10-year, $252 million contract with the Rangers in December, 2000 (a deal that was exactly twice as rich as Kevin Garnett's then-record $126 million 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 Major League Baseball 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% 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.

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