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More Arod for Us, More Money for Arod

And so it begins.

"If Alex wants to meet with the Yankees," Boras said, "there's obviously no negotiating that would go on during the meeting."

It appears the main point of contention between the Yankees and A-Rod's agent, Scott Boras, appears to be the basis for valuing the contract extension. They Yankees apparently feel that basis should be the annual average value of his current contract - $25 million. Boras contends that because A-Rod will be earning more than $30 million in each of the final two years of the contract, that $30 million per should be the starting point of a new deal.

Because of baseball's popularity, revenue sharing, and the cash raised by the game's online presence, there is more money in baseball than teams can spend. In 2000, when Rodriguez signed a contract making him baseball's first $25 million a year man, the highest paid player in baseball was Kevin Brown, who made $15 million. These days, merely solid players like Houston's Carlos Lee are making $19 million per year. Rodriguez is in for a big raise, and the best way to find out how big it can get is to let teams compete for him.

"I don't think it's any secret, we want A-Rod to stay," [Hank} Steinbrenner said. "Brian (Cashman) a long time ago and I made it clear after him, if they opt out, goodbye. The fact of the matter is, obviously we want him to stay. And I think he wants to stay."