Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Big Deals, Pujols And Pachyderms -

Big Deals, Pujols And Pachyderms
By Jim Henneman

SARASOTA, FL -- This is a tale of 10-year contracts, a reminder that timing indeed is everything, and the elephant that won't leave the negotiating room in any future contract talks involving Albert Pujols.

It all started after the 2000 season, when super agent Scott Boras found his perfect ploy while shopping the talents of baseball's best player at the time -- Alex Rodriguez. Talk about timing. There was Tom Hicks, owner of the heavy-hitting but pitching-starved Texas Rangers, ready to make a splash signing that would make him the talk of Texas and all of baseball. Oh boy, did it ever. Good timing.

While then-general manager Doug Melvin was desperately trying to upgrade then-manager Johnny Oates' pitching staff, Hicks didn't write the check, but made the $252 million, 10-year commitment that made A-Rod, at the height of his career, easily the highest paid player in the game.

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