Mike Piazza and Alex Rodriguez? Now that would’ve been something.
While working the broadcast booth of ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball,” Rodriguez revealed he regrets not making more of an effort to try to sign with the Mets during the 2000-01 offseason.
“I thought I would make great concessions to go play for the Mets,” Rodriguez said when asked about the hypothetical scenario by play-by-play man Matt Vasgersian. “I thought it was a great story for baseball.”
Rodriguez has long been open about his Mets fandom, noting he was a huge Keith Hernandez fan growing up.
Scott Boras, Rodriguez’s agent, gave the Mets a list of demands before the team even offered him a contract, including a Shea Stadium office, a marketing staff, a merchandise tent at spring training, a luxury box and use of a private jet, according to ESPN.
Rodriguez insinuated if he could, he would have had more input in his free agency negotiations.
“I would just say this: If I was to do it again, I would just take control of my career a lot more,” Rodriguez said.
Despite his love for the Mets, Rodriguez ultimately signed a 10-year, $252 million contract with the Rangers before being traded to the Yankees in 2004.
Although Rodriguez’s devotion to the Mets wasn’t exactly a secret, the team was never considered a serious threat to sign him due to his large contract demands and requested perks.
Then-Mets GM Steve Phillips famously rejected the idea of signing Rodriguez because “it’s about 25 players working as a team.”
Phillips said two years ago when asked about having the chance to sign Rodriguez that he still stands by that philosophy of not overpaying for one player, but also acknowledged his own inflexibility contributed to the Mets falling out of the race early.
“I still feel the same about structure and teams and everything else today that I did before, that there has to be the same rules for everybody, even if the discipline or consequences may be different. …But maybe some part of it was my own inflexibility when I look back,” Phillips said. “Maybe if I hadn’t been so inflexible and been willing to negotiate some of those terms, maybe it could’ve been different.”