This offseason, the top two players on Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list in 2003 signed contracts that will place them squarely in the middle of basball’s greatest rivalry.
The first player, Mark Teixeira, agreed to an eight-year, $180 million deal with the Yankees. His agent, Scott Boras, negotiated a full no-trade clause and an annual salary of more than $20 million until 2016.
The second player, Rocco Baldelli, became a member of the Red Sox after agreeing to a one-year deal with a base salary of $500,000. Various roster and performance bonuses could gross him as much as $7 million.
Obviously there were many extenuating circumstances that led to each player receiving the contract he did – Teixeira was fortunate enough to be the premiere free agent available at a time when the Yankees were looking to make a big splash, and Baldelli’s health issues in recent years severely limited his value – but I still found it fascinating that within six years, two young men who were once considered the biggest up-and-comers in their profession achieved such different results.