Texas Rangers: The Alex Rodriguez trade 17 years later

12 Dec 2000: Alex Rodriguez talks during a press conference after being signed to the Texas Rangers at The Ball Park in Arlington, Texas.Mandatory Credit: Gary Barber /Allsport
12 Dec 2000: Alex Rodriguez talks during a press conference after being signed to the Texas Rangers at The Ball Park in Arlington, Texas.Mandatory Credit: Gary Barber /Allsport /

On this day 17 years ago, the Texas Rangers shipped out shortstop Alex Rodriguez to the Bronx for Alfonso Soriano and Joaquin Arias.

In December of 2000, the Texas Rangers shocked the baseball world by signing superstar shortstop Alex Rodriguez to a 10-year, $252 million deal.

By far the largest contract at the time, the Rangers and Rodriguez were looking to turn around a club that struggled to get into the postseason.

Texas Rangers signed A-Rod in 2000
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Texas Rangers had to trade A-Rod because he was expensive.

A-Rod was spectacular for the Texas Rangers, winning three Silver Sluggers and two Gold Gloves, while attending three All-Star games and winning the 2003 Most Valuable Player award.

But after the 2003 season, the reigning MVP’s contract became too much of a burden for the Texas Rangers.

His lofty contract was hurting their payroll and it was time to move on.

The Texas Rangers made Rodriguez available during the 2003-204 offseason, and the calls were coming in.

The Rangers were on the verge of sending A-Rod to the Boston Red Sox in December, having the approval of Commissioner Bud Selig, but fell through after the Red Sox wanted to cut $28 million of the salary.

That trade would have netted the Rangers outfielder Manny Ramirez (who would eventually sign a MiLB deal with Texas in 2013) and his remaining $97.5 million deal, while the Red Sox would have sent Nomar Garciaparra to the Chicago White Sox.

Inevitably, that deal fell through and the Yankees found their way into the conversation.

Just over two months later, Brian Cashman and the Yankees would finalize a deal to acquire Alex Rodriguez and the $179 million remaining on his deal.

Texas Rangers traded A-Rod to the Yankees
(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images) /

Rodriguez gave the green light and waived his no-trade clause. The Commissioner’s Office also approved the deal because of his “unique contract situation.”

The Rangers took on $67 million of the remaining salary, but saved some of that money when Rodriguez opted out to sign an extension with the Bronx Bombers.

Texas needed financial relief because of the bad contracts handed out to Rusty Greer, Jeff Zimmerman and Chan Ho Park.

To replace A-Rod, the Rangers got an All-Star caliber player and a minor leaguer.

In return, the Texas Rangers acquired second baseman Alfonso Soriano and shortstop prospect Joaquin Arias.

While with Texas, Soriano hit .274/.316/.498 in two seasons, with 64 homers.

The Rangers would flip Soriano to the Nationals for Armando Galarraga, Termel Sledge and Brad Wilkerson after the 2005 season.

The two years the Rangers acquired of Soriano didn’t seem like great market value for A-Rod, but Texas had limited negotiating power and were backed into a corner.

They had to take what they could get.

Meanwhile, the Yankees enjoyed every bit of A-Rod’s tenure in the Bronx.

He hit .283/.378/.523 over his 12 years in New York, with a .900 OPS and 136 OPS+.

Add to that 1,580 hits, 351 home runs and 1,096 runs driven in over that time. He also appeared In seven All-Star games and won two more MVP’s and three more Silver Sluggers.

Overall, the Yankees won the player production aspect of this trade.

But, no one in Texas Rangers history will forget Eric Nadel’s “strike three called, the Rangers are going to the World Series!” call in 2010, with A-Rod fittingly being the player to send his former team to play for a championship.

Perhaps the Rangers got the last laugh in this trade after all…

Next. Trade history: Corey Kluber. dark