The Chicago Cubs today pulled out of a trade that would have brought Alex Rodriguez to Chicago in exchange for a pair of low-level minor leaguers, saying the addition of a player of that caliber would “upset the team’s balance.”
“Frankly,” said Theo Epstein, president of Cubs baseball operations, “we have to be careful. If you bring in a guy like Alex and he starts hitting home runs or something, and he’s the only one on the team doing that, a lot of our guys are going to get jealous.”
The Yankees were seeking to unload Rodriguez after his poor play in the American League Championship Series and offered to cover his entire salary—plus his room, board, transportation, pet bills, and dry cleaning—for the remainder of his contract. But the Cubs balked.
“We have a plan here for rebuilding,” Epstein said, “and it’s going to take a long time. A really, really long time. The last thing we want to do now is bring in a bunch of great players and mess that up. That’s not the Cubs Way.”
Rodriguez, reached at his home in Miami, said he was disappointed to hear that he would not be playing for the Cubs next season. “At this point in my career, I was looking forward to the the goal for me is to be with the worst team in the biggest possible market, and that’s the Cubs. But, hey, don’t the White Sox need a third baseman?”
Kenny Williams of the White Sox did not return phone calls seeking comment.
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