On this date in 2000, the Texas Rangers signed Alex Rodriguez to a record smashing 10-year contract worth $252 million. At the time, the largest contract in MLB history belonged to Mike Hampton (eight years, $121 million) and the largest contract in sports history belonged to Kevin Garnett (six years, $126 million).

A-Rod was pretty much the perfect free agent. He was only 25 years old, he was a devastating power hitter, and he was a Gold Glove caliber shortstop. There were very few -- if any -- holes in his game. With Scott Boras as his agent, everyone expected Rodriguez to sign the largest contract in history, but no one expected it to be that big.

During his three years with the Rangers, Rodriguez hit .305/.395/.615 (155 OPS+) with 156 home runs and 25.5 WAR. He was an All-Star all three years and was named the 2003 AL MVP after being the runner-up in 2002. A-Rod was easily the best baseball player in the world not named Barry Bonds at the time.

Of course, the Rangers went 216-260 from 2001-03, finishing in last place in the AL West all three years. They finished in last place the year before they signed A-Rod too, but with him on the books, they had trouble affording other quality players to put around him.

So, during the 2003-04 offseason, the Rangers traded Rodriguez to the Yankees for Alfonso Soriano and Joaquin Arias. Texas kicked in a bunch of money too. They were close to sending A-Rod to the Red Sox earlier in the offseason before things fell apart.

Rodriguez spent four very productive years with the Yankees before exercising an opt-out clause in his contract following the 2007 season. He hit .304/.400/.591 (154 OPS+) and averaged 47 home runs and 8.0 WAR per season during the life of the deal.

According to the metrics at FanGraphs, A-Rod was worth approximately $250 million on the field during the seven years covered by the contract before the opt-out. He was paid $170 million those years.

The Rangers signed Alex Rodriguez on this date in 2000.
The Rangers signed Alex Rodriguez on this date in 2000. (Getty)