Japanese team reportedly had interest in A-Rod
According to The New York Times, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks expressed interest in obtaining A-Rod from the Yankees after the slugger struggled in the playoffs and was benched at points during the postseason last year. The Yankees never held talks with the Hawks for two reasons: they knew A-Rod had an injured hip that would require surgery, and they also knew that Rodriguez, who still had five years and $114 million guaranteed on his contract from the Yankees, would never agree to a transfer.
There were some reports last year that the Marlins would be interested in acquiring Rodriguez, but Miami decided to trade away their high-priced talent and rebuild. Aside from that, there hasn’t been any mention of a team having interest in Rodriguez.
Rodriguez has been rehabbing his hip and working out at the Yankees’ Tampa complex since May. A report last week stated that MLB might pursue a 100-game suspension for A-Rod because of his association with alleged PED dealer Anthony Bosch.
The Yankees would love to be rid of Rodriguez and his contract, but they know that would be highly unlikely, and A-Rod is too stubborn to leave New York and agree to a move to another team.
The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks have the highest attendance in the Pacific League this season. According to The Times, many Japanese teams are corporate-owned and view the franchises as a promotional vehicle for their company, so they don’t mind incurring operating losses running the team. That’s likely a big reason why the Hawks would be open to Rodriguez and his big contract.
Going to Japan would never happen, but it’s nice to know that some teams still have interest in Rodriguez. And if you figure that Manny Ramirez and Jose Canseco still have jobs playing baseball, then you know there must be a market for A-Rod.