Surprisingly, there has been no additional news beyond what I mentioned last night regarding Alex Rodriguez. He and the Yankees are close to a 10-year/$275MM contract. Until more is known, I am working from the position that ARod's agent Scott Boras found no market for his client's services at the price of $200+MM and that the Yankees just bid against themselves a la Rangers' owner Tom Hicks did when he handed out the 10 year/$252MM seven years ago.
Assuming this goes forward, what is the cascade effect on the rest of the free agent market?
World Series MVP Mike Lowell would now seem likely to attract the interest of the two Los Angeles teams who were thought to be interested in the 3B services of Alex Rodriguez. While the Red Sox may hold firm on their three-year offer, the presence of the Angels and Dodgers would seem to compel any team bidding for his services to add a fourth. The possibility of a 5th year would not surprise me either.
The recently reported acrimony between the recently re-upped manager of the St Louis Cardinals and All-Star 3B Scott Rolen of the three-years/$36MM remaining contract would seem to signal a trade is in the immediate future. How indifferent are the Red Sox between a four-year/$50+MM contract for Lowell and a $36MM, three-year committment to Rolen and AAA OF Brandon Moss and SS Jed Lowrie? The answer to that would likely determine how the Red Sox address their 3B option.
Some form of this trade rumor has appeared over the past several days. It's recent iteration comes from The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo. He relays the possibility of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays dealing LF Carl Crawford to the Chicago Cubs in a package that includes LHP Rich Hill and RP Carlos Marmol. This would directly address the needs of the Devil Rays while clearing a glut of talented outfielders.
The Cubs would add another All-Star calibre player and have a place to play him with the recent trades of Jacques Jones and Craig Monroe and the free agent departure of Cliff Floyd. An argument can be made whether the Cubs need pitching more than another outfielder, though.