The American League champions and the Texas Rangers finalized a deal Sunday that sends A-Rod to the Bronx for second baseman Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named, SportsLine.com's Scott Miller has learned.
The teams are expected to make an official announcement Sunday afternoon.
While talks began Wednesday, the sides needed to finalize the amount of money Texas will pay New York, and complete an agreement with Rodriguez on a restructuring of his contract that was described as modest.
As part of the trade, Texas will pay $67 million of the $179 million in salary that Rodriguez is owed over the final seven years of his contract. That leaves the Yankees to pay an average of approximately $16 million per season.
In addition to the $112 million the Rangers would clear off their books, Texas estimated it would save more than $13 million in interest for salaries that are to be deferred.
"It's about flexibility," general manager John Hart said. "We're trading the best player in the game and we're getting tremendous financial flexibility."
Boston, the Yankees' perennial rival, nearly acquired Rodriguez in December, but a proposed deal that would have sent outfielder Manny Ramirez to the Rangers fell through because the players' association blocked Boston's attempt to restructure Rodriguez's record $252 million, 10-year contract. The union said the proposal by the Red Sox would have lowered the deal's value by $30 million to $32 million.
Boston then rejected the union's plan to lower the contract by $12 million to $13 million in exchange for Rodriguez gaining the right to use Boston's logos in merchandise deals.
After the deal collapsed, Hicks said Rodriguez would remain with the Rangers, and the team announced Jan. 25 that it was making the seven-time All-Star its captain.
In addition to the salary owed the 28-year-old Rodriguez, he is due $4 million from his signing bonus and $12 million deferred at 3 percent annual interest from salaries during his first three years with Texas. Of the $67 million or so the Rangers will pay the Yankees, $27 million will go to money the contract called to be deferred in the final seven years
Soriano, 26, will make $5.4 million this year and has two more years of salary arbitration eligibility remaining. The two-time All-Star can become a free agent after the 2006 season.
New York's payroll currently is at $170.3 million, not including left-hander Gabe White, who remains in arbitration and will earn at least $1,825,000.
A swap of Soriano for Rodriguez would leave the payroll at about $190 million. But the Yankees consider it breaking even because of the money they will receive from Texas, and the amounts they will save by trading Soriano, releasing Drew Henson and reworking the deal of Boone, who might get released.
|Alex Rodriguez wants to get out of Texas so badly he's willing to move to third base with the Yankees.(AP)|
Rodriguez, who was born in New York, lives in Florida. He was disappointed when the New York Mets failed to pursue him when he became a free agent after the 2000 season.
He was frustrated following three last-place finishes in Texas, but said in recent weeks he was content to remain with the Rangers.
"I feel like we have a great plan in hand," he said Feb. 6. "I feel very comfortable about where the Texas Rangers are going."
Rodriguez hit .298 last season with 47 homers, 118 RBI and 17 stolen bases. Soriano batted .290 with 38 homers, 91 RBI and 35 steals.
Enrique Wilson, Miguel Cairo and Erick Almonte would be among the candidates to play second base for the Yankees.
New York opens spring training Tuesday, and Texas starts two days later.