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Sox owner: A-Rod deal shows need for cap

BOSTON -- BOSTON (AP) -- Red Sox owner John Henry thinks a salary cap could be good for baseball after watching the rival Yankees trade for Alex Rodriguez -- a deal his own franchise could not complete.


Henry, whose team failed to obtain Rodriguez from Texas in December, said in an e-mail response to reporters Wednesday that he is changing his mind on whether the sport needs a salary cap "to deal with a team that has gone so insanely far beyond the resources of all the other teams."

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner quickly responded, saying: "We understand that John Henry must be embarrassed, frustrated and disappointed by his failure in this transaction."

The Yankees' payroll is about $184.8 million for 25 signed players after they acquired Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers earlier this week in exchange for Alfonso Soriano and a minor leaguer to be named.

But the number would come down by about $4.8 million if third baseman Aaron Boone is released. Boston is expected to be second at about $125 million.

"One thing is certain the status quo will not be preserved," Henry wrote.

"There must be a way to cap what a team can spend without hurting player compensation ... without taking away from the players what they have rightfully earned in the past through negotiation and in creating tremendous value. There is a simple mechanism that could right a system woefully out of whack."

Henry's comments come after his team failed in its bid to land the reigning American League MVP.

The Red Sox tried to trade Manny Ramirez, who has the second-highest average salary in baseball, for Rodriguez. But talks fell apart because the team could not agree on how to divide the remaining $179 million on Rodriguez's contract. Boston and Texas were apart by about $15 million, and the Red Sox wanted Rodriguez to lower the present-day value of his contract by $20 million more than the players' association would allow.

"Unlike the Yankees, he chose not to go the extra distance for his fans in Boston," Steinbrenner said of Henry. "It is understandable, but wrong that he would try to deflect the accountability for his mistakes on to others and to a system for which he voted in favor. It is time to get on with life and forget the sour grapes."

The Yankees were able to absorb Rodriguez's salary in exchange for second baseman Alfonso Soriano. Texas is assuming $67 million of the rest of Rodriguez's salary.

"Baseball doesn't have an answer for the Yankees," Henry said. "Revenue sharing can only accomplish so much. At some point it becomes confiscation. It has not and it will not solve what is a very obvious problem."

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