Alex Rodriguez Regrets Not Joining Mets In Free Agency After 2000 Season

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MLB former player Alex Rodriguez

Photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images

Alex Rodriguez still wonders what might have been.

The retired Major League Baseball legend revealed Sunday night on ESPN he wishes he had joined the New York Mets at a pivotal moment in his career.

He left the Seattle Mariners after the 2000 season as a free agent when he signed a 10-year, $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers. His agent, Scott Boras, had been negotiating with the Mets that offseason, but talks broke down early over his demands for special treatment.

When ESPN’s Matt Vasgersian presented him nearly two decades over with the hypothetical free agency do-over opportunity, Rodriguez admitted he regrets joining the Rangers on the biggest contract in baseball history over the team he supported as a boy.

“I thought I would make great concessions to go play for the Mets,” Rodriguez said, per The New York Daily News’ Ari Gilberg. “I thought it was a great story for baseball.

“I would just say this: If I was to do it again, I would just take control of my career a lot more.”

Rodriguez spoke about his own career decisions amid a discussion about Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper’s seemingly impending entrance into free agency.

Among those watching “Sunday Night Baseball” was Bobby Valentine, the Mets manager between 1996 and 2002. Here’s how he reacted to Rodriguez’s revelation.

The Rangers traded Rodriguez prior to the 2004 season to the New York Yankees, where he shifted from shortstop to third base due to the presence of team legend Derek Jeter. Rodriguez won the American League MVP Award in 2005 and 2007 with the Yankees and helped the team win the World Series in 2009, but his career also was tainted by his admission of steroid use during his time with the Rangers.

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