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The Seattle Mariners just couldn't offer A-Rod the money other teams were willing to throw at him, and there was no way the team could have matched the record-breaking 10-year, $252 million contract he was offered by the Texas Rangers prior to the 2001 season.
It wasn't for a lack of trying by the Mariners. According to Seattle sportswriter Art Thiel (via U.S.S. Mariner), A-Rod first turned down a seven-year, $63 million contract extension back in 1998 that would have started in the year 2001. He later turned away an eight-year offer for $117.5 million that would have kicked in at the start of the 2000 season.
Nonetheless, A-Rod went with the money and departed Seattle after seven seasons. Ironically, the Mariners would go on to post the best regular-season record in American League history the following year, finishing with a 116-46 record.
A-Rod shined immediately with the Rangers in the 2001 season, establishing a new career high with 52 home runs.
In his three seasons with the Rangers he played all but one game, batting over .300 twice while blasting 156 home runs and knocking in 395 runs.
At the time it looked like A-Rod's boost from just under 37 home runs per season in Seattle to 52 per season in Texas didn't raise any suspicion, but looking back it's clear that his power surge might not have been entirely clean.
Little did fans or management know at the time, but A-Rod's entire stay with the Rangers was chemically fueled.
A-Rod was named to three more All-Star teams and won three Silver Slugger awards, two Gold Glove awards and his first MVP Award (2003) in his three years in Texas, but the team wasn't winning.
In fact, the Rangers were simply awful during A-Rod's time in Arlington. With his added offense in 2001, the Rangers only managed a 73-89 record, just two games better than the previous season.
The 2002 season was more of the same as they finished at 72-90, and in 2003, A-Rod's first MVP season, they finished up at 71-91.
A-Rod did do his part to provide offense. However, his onerous contract was such that the Rangers were completely hamstrung in their pursuit of support, especially a pitching staff that was porous at best.
Ultimately, Rodriguez wasn't enough to win games and draw fans, so the Rangers had no choice but to trade their superstar to rid themselves of his ridiculous contract.
Every team with the money to take on Rodriguez's contract inquired about him. The Boston Red Sox had a deal in place to send Manny Ramirez to Texas in exchange for A-Rod, but the deal fell apart. He was ultimately traded to the New York Yankees, whose budget not only allowed the team to take on his contract but was big enough that it could keep some talent around him.