Alex Rodriguez Gets
A Surprise Assist
From Fan in Omaha
As Yankee Slugger Whiffed
On Contract, He Turned
To Buffett and Goldman
By KATE KELLY and DANA CIMILLUCA
November 17, 2007
In the public imagination, sports negotiations unfold along the lines of "Jerry Maguire" and other fictional portrayals -- fast-talking, bare-knuckled agents going to head-to-head with cigar-smoking team owners in a game of "Show Me the Money."
But when New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez stumbled in his efforts to ink a stratospheric new contract, he turned to a different set of characters: Omaha investor Warren Buffett and two executives from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Thanks to their assist, Mr. Rodriguez, one of the most talented but also one of the most controversial players in the game, is finalizing a 10-year deal with the Yankees which could reach $275 million over its duration, according to people familiar with the situation. The deal, if it comes together, would represent a high-water mark for any professional sports franchise. Mr. Rodriguez's previous contract, set to expire in 2010, was for $252 million over 10 years.