What if A-Rod had signed with the #Braves?

It’s often forgotten that, had then-Rangers owner Tom Hicks not lost leave of his senses, Alex Rodriguez would’ve probably become a Brave in 2001.

A-Rod was reportedly itching to play for Atlanta, his (alleged) favorite team growing up. He said he chose #3 in honor of his boyhood idol.

Murph should sue for defamation.

Rodriguez, who is seeking a long-term deal averaging $20-$25 million a year, said last week he won’t necessarily go to the highest bidder. The Braves are thought to be willing to offer him a deal averaging $20 million per season, $5 million more than Chipper Jones’ salary, but won’t go any higher.

“What I’m focusing on is a team with a good chance to win, the players, the city, things like that,” Rodriguez told ESPN’s Peter Gammons. “I’m not a selfish player. I want to be one player on a good team that has a chance to win a ring.

“When I sign, people will see that there are no big side deals, and they may find out that I took a little less to play for the team I want to play with.”

“Uh oh,” a baseball executive said to Gammons when informed of Rodriguez’s comment. “That sounds a lot like Atlanta.”

JS was prepared to offer him a contract in the neighborhood of 8 years and $160 million, five million more per year than Chipper. It’s thought to be the best offer he received before Hicks blew his wad.

So what if A-Rod had come to Atlanta? He certainly would’ve made a difference on the offensively challenged 2001 team, which often had B.J. Surhoff batting clean-up. But would he have been enough to overcome the Diamondbacks pitching? Probably not.

Beyond that, A-Rod’s presence would’ve likely precluded the Sheffield trade and the signing of Vinny Castilla. The financial obligation to Rodriguez would’ve also made it more difficult to acquire Russ Ortiz and Mike Hampton — no big losses. And he certainly would’ve performed better in October than Shef, who went 3-for-30 in two postseason series’.

It’s impossible to know whether he would’ve helped the Braves win a second title. By then Time Warner had put the brakes on spending, so it’s likely Rodriguez wouldn’t have played in Atlanta for long.

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