Alex Rodriguez nearly was traded to the Boston Red Sox before the 2004 season. The deal fell through, and a lot has happened since then.
ESPN’s latest “30 for 30 Shorts” tells the story of the Red Sox nearly acquiring A-Rod during the 2003-04 offseason before the New York Yankees landed the slugger, who at the time was considered the best player in baseball.
The Red Sox had a deal in place to acquire Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers. Rodriguez would have been traded to the Red Sox in exchange for Manny Ramirez and a Single-A pitcher by the name of Jon Lester. Boston then would have acquired outfielder Magglio Ordonez and then-minor league pitcher Brandon McCarthy for shortstop Nomar Garciaparra in a subsequent trade with the Chicago White Sox.
Everything looked ready to roll, with A-Rod willing to restructure his 10-year, $252 million contract to fit within Boston’s budget. The Major League Baseball Players Association squashed the deal, though, and Rodriguez eventually was traded to the Yankees in exchange for Alfonso Soriano.
Things have worked out fine for the Red Sox. Boston has won three World Series titles in 10 years since the near trade, and Rodriguez has been slapped with a season-long suspension for his link to performance-enhancing drugs. But at the time, it was another crushing blow to the Red Sox, who had just lost to the Yankees in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.
Check out the ESPN video below to learn more about A-Rod almost landing in Boston.