After the New York Yankees on Wednesday indicated they would break from tradition and negotiate during the season with Alex Rodriguez on a contract extension, his agent moved in quickly to define what it would take to keep the superstar third baseman playing in New York.
And that would be unprecedented millions per season.
In a telephone interview with the New York Post, Scott Boras said Rodriguez assuredly will become Major League Baseball's first $30 million-a-year player.
However, Boras said he will not take up the Yankees' offer to negotiate before the season ends.
"We are not going to be negotiating during the season," Boras said. Boras insisted he could see no way that strategy will change, saying "This is Alex's decision. This has been his policy, and I fully expect this to continue to be his policy."
MLB sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney that the Yankees were willing to negotiate with Rodriguez -- under the condition that he agrees not to opt out of his current contract after this season and that he agrees to tack on any extension to that deal, which expires after the 2010 season.
Even if his client doesn't go the opt-out route, Boras told the Post that there are existing stipulations in the current deal that all but guarantee Rodriguez would earn a minimum of $32 million in both the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
"The way the provision operates, he either gets that or he can become a free agent after any of those seasons again," Boras told the newspaper.
Approximately one-third of the remaining $81 million of the current contract is being paid by the Texas Rangers, which was part of the trade that brought Rodriguez to New York.
Though the Yankees are underperforming so far this season, it's not Rodriguez's fault. He led the major leagues at the All-Star break with 30 home runs and 86 RBIs and has a .317 average.
Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.