Let’s be honest here. If the Yankees could be rid of Alex Rodriguez and his contract, they’d pull the trigger on such a deal in a second. Of course, interest had waned in the third baseman — even if the Yankees were to pick up significant portions of Rodriguez’s contract — due to his overall decline.
However, at least one franchise wanted Rodriguez on their team this past offseason.
According to The New York Times, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks expressed interest in obtaining Rodriguez from the Yankees back in November. The Hawks play for the Pacific League of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball.
While it’s unknown whether or not Rodriguez was ever aware of the inquiry, the Yankees declined to even respond to the Hawks for two reasons. For one, they knew that Rodriguez had a serious hip injury. Secondly, they figured that Rodriguez would never agree to play baseball in Japan under his current contract.
According to the Times, most teams in NPB are corporately owned, thus look at their baseball teams as advertising and are willing to take on operating losses on baseball to promote the overall brand. SoftBank, for instance, is currently trying to buy a stake in Sprint.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, is thoroughly embroiled in the Biogenesis scandal, with the latest report stating that clinic owner Anthony Bosch only agreed to cooperate with Major League Baseball after Rodriguez declined to pay him hush money.