Now that the Red Sox have won their second World Series Championship in four seasons, the biggest Hot Stove news is revolving around free agent Alex Rodriguez. Ten days prior to the expiration of a ten-day window to negotiate with his former team, the New York Yankees, he opted to become a free agent. His handler, uberagent Scott Boras, cited the unresolved issues the Yankees had - no manager, unsigned free agent closer Mariano Rivera and catcher Jorge Posada, and player-option-holding starting pitcher Andy Pettitte - as the reasons ARod exercised his option to become a free agent. Nevermind that any/all of those situations could have been resolved prior to the ten-day window closing.
This has made ARod's reasoning a source of speculation. Some have speculated that ARod didn't want to remain with the Yankees, and, rather than risk the Yankees' making an offer he (his agent?) couldn't refuse, he pre-empted that by opting out immediately.
There has also been speculation that he needed as much time as possible to get a new contract signed prior to the release of the Mitchell Report. This seems unlikely, but unexplainable actions open-up wild speculation.
Finally, the New York Daily News reports ARod remains interested in returning to New York. Why'd he opt-out then? To quote the suddenly whiny-sounding Scott Boras:
I doubt that is the question that is going to be asked for years to come.
Where ARod lands and at what price are the historical questions awaiting answers. Right now early opinion is congealing around the team formerly known as the California Angels. Yesterday's LA Times wrote:
He has spoken to agent Scott Boras about Rodriguez, "and we'll be speaking again," Reagins said. Boras is also expected to meet soon with Moreno.
For the Angels, the team would then have the luxury of dealing major league 3B Chone Figgins and top prospect, 3B Brandon Wood, into a weak free agent market for 3B. Whether that portends an exuberant trade market or not is one thing, but, with the resignation of GM Bill Stoneman, the possibility of the Angles dealing a prospect like Wood does increase. And Wood would be blocked be a long-term ARod contract.
Fantasy Football with Scott Engel at 11AM.
Fantasy Sports with Matt Berry at 3PM.
NFL with Keith Kidd at noon
NFL with Mark Mosely at 3PM.
MLB with Keith Law at 1PM.
NBA with Chad Ford at 1PM.