Fifteen years ago, the Red Sox and Rangers agreed to terms on a deal that would have sent slugging shortstop Alex Rodriguez to Boston and changed the course of the franchise.
The trade fell through at the last minute, however, when the Major League Players Association ruled against Rodriguez taking a voluntary pay cut. Instead, A-Rod ended up with the archrival New York Yankees, and we know how the story goes from there.
Even after enjoying 12 seasons in the Bronx and becoming a World Series champion, Rodriguez explained on "Dale & Keefe" as part of the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon he still thinks "what if?" about a career in Boston.
“Oh my God, yes. I have thought about it a lot," Rodriguez said. "It was such an exciting time for me. I knew how great the Red Sox were going to be. Could I have forecasted four championships? Probably not, but I knew at least a couple in there. I thought that after spending a lot of time with John Henry down here in Florida at my home in Miami and his home in Boca, I knew that this was someone who had incredible passion and knowledge and knew how to put a winning team around him — on the field and in the front office.
"After talking with Theo (Epstein) and Jed Hoyer, and now they have Sam Kennedy, he just surrounds himself with incredible people. I just thought the combination between John Henry, who is a hedge fund wizard, Tom Werner, who is the king of Hollywood and putting great shows together, and then a lawyer like Larry Lucchino, I just thought they were a triple threat. And then they had Theo. I said this is a place that I can win and win for a long time."
A-Rod admitted he initially was upset not to be a part of the Red Sox organization.
"I was completely bummed it collapsed," he said. "It was so depressing never knowing that the Yankees were even an option at that point. And of course, a few weeks later I sat next to Brian Cashman in New York collecting my MVP award. … And then a few weeks later I have my press conference in New York."
Everything ended up working out just fine for both sides. Boston went on to win a championship the very next season (2004) and add three more. Rodriguez made approximately $317 million while with the Yankees and earned a ring of his own in 2009.
Still, it's difficult not to think about what the state of both franchises would be today had the MLBPA not stepped in to prevent the blockbuster trade.
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