New York, NY (Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers and New York Yankees Sunday completed the blockbuster deal that will allow All-Star shortstop Alex Rodriguez to don pinstripes.
An official announcement is expected to be made following the approval of Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig. The terms of the deal have been completed and the players' association already stamped its approval.
New York Newsday reported Saturday that the Rangers and Yankees had agreed in principle on the deal, but some details were being finalized for the trade to be done. The details have apparently been completed, and the superstar slugger is on his way to the Big Apple.
The trade sent Rodriguez -- and the remaining $179 million left on his contract -- to New York in exchange for second basemen Alfonso Soriano -- making $5.4 million this season -- and a player to be named later, expected to be a minor-league prospect.
It is believed that the Rangers will also pay some money towards Rodriguez' contract to ease the burden for New York. Numerous reports indicate that Texas will contribute $67 million towards the reigning American League MVP's record deal.
Apparently, Rodriguez is willing to make the switch over to third base, allowing fellow All-Star and friend Derek Jeter to remain at his natural position of shortstop. The Yankees have a huge void at third base because of a knee injury suffered by Aaron Boone this offseason. Boone tore ligaments in his knee while playing basketball.
Texas Rangers general manager John Hart initially downplayed the report during a statement released Saturday evening.
"We have continued to talk to the Yankees following initial discussions," he said. "There's nothing to report at this time. It's premature to talk about any potential transaction especially since our owner Tom Hicks has been reluctant to reopen this issue."
"Discussions about players are difficult and sensitive," said Hart. "From the Rangers standpoint, any deal would have to meet a lot of conditions and requirements in order to be accomplished."
However, Hart later seemed to indicate a deal was in the works.
"It's about flexibility. We're trading the best player in the game and we're getting tremendous financial flexibility," he said. "We're in a very sensitive stage right now. A deal of this magnitude, with all the moving parts, it takes time."
Now, just one day later, the blockbuster has been completed.
Rodriguez was almost traded to the Red Sox earlier this offseason. However, the players' association rejected a proposed deal where Rodriguez would restructure his contract. Both sides had settled on the players involved in the proposed trade, but the players' union provided the final roadblock.
Rodriguez said he would only go to Boston with the union's approval.
This past season, Rodriguez topped the American League in home runs with 47, runs scored with 124 and also had a .600 slugging percentage. He was second in the AL with 118 RBI and finished with a .298 batting average, his lowest since 1999.
In the last 72 seasons (beginning 1932), only three players have topped the American League in home runs for three straight years. Rodriguez is one of them, joining Minnesota's Harmon Killebrew (1962-64) and Seattle's Ken Griffey, Jr. (1997-99). Rodriguez is also one of only three players in big league history with 40-plus home runs in at least six straight seasons. Babe Ruth and Sammy Sosa are the two others.
Rodriguez has been on a last-place team the previous three seasons since signing with Texas in 2001. The Yankees, meanwhile, have captured eight straight division titles.
Incredibly, at just 28-years-old, Rodriguez has hit 344 of his 345 career home runs as a shortstop, one shy of the all-time record held by Baltimore's Cal Ripken, Jr. Ripken played in 2,303 games and had 8,934 at-bats as a shortstop. Rodriguez has appeared in 1,266 games at the position with 4,968 at-bats.
A two-time Gold Glove winner and seven-time All-Star, Rodriguez officially has a no-trade clause in his contract. In his 10-year major league career, Rodriguez is a .308 hitter with 345 homers and 990 RBI.