NEW YORK -- Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has a clear memo for any team that may be interested in trading for embattled superstar Alex Rodriguez: Save your time, and your dime.
"'Don't bother calling,' is my message to everyone,'' Cashman told SI.com Monday. "He's not going anywhere. And that's a fact.''
Cashman did not deny that he's fielded calls of interest in the past few days, as unsubstantiated, unbelievable rumors have flown around regarding alleged Rodriguez trade discussions, possibly spurring competing executives to wonder whether A-Rod -- who on Saturday became the youngest player ever to amass 450 home runs -- could really be available in trade.
"I'm not going to say no one's called. And if you call the 29 other teams and find out they've called, you'd also find out that I've told them the same thing, that he's unavailable,'' Cashman said.
Rodriguez's camp is annoyed about the media speculation and debate about whether the Yankees and A-Rod might be better off if they traded the 2005 American League MVP out of town following his spate of fielding faux pas. Furthermore, they want it known that Rodriguez wouldn't accept a trade, in any case. Rodriguez's 10-year, $252 million contract contains a blanket no-trade clause.
"Alex chose New York, and after 2½ years of playing in New York, he has nothing but the greatest respect for New York Yankee fans and the Yankee organization,'' Rodriguez's agent Scott Boras said. "He has a no-trade clause in his contract and he does not intend to play anywhere else in the near future.''
Cashman is fine with that. The Yankees' GM predicted that Rodriguez would rebound strongly from the worst week of his playing career.
"We'll get him back on track,'' Cashman insisted. "It's a long season. He'll get through it. He's tough. He'll prove he's one of the game's best players. Long-term, I'm not worried about Alex Rodriguez.''
Rodriguez has been shaky at third base in recent days, and he now has 18 errors, six more than he made all last year. But even before Rodriguez lost control of his throws and made five errors in five games, a number of Yankees fans were booing A-Rod for what was perceived as a failure to deliver in clutch situations -- although Rodriguez's numbers are actually slightly better in the clutch.
Going into Monday's game at Texas, Rodriguez was batting .277 and slugging .499. With runners in scoring position he was batting .295 and slugging .554, and with runners in scoring position and two outs he was batting .306 and slugging .551.
"This is his home,'' Cashman said. "People forget that last year he was the American League MVP and that he did something no one's done since Joe DiMaggio. He's an asset, and a big one.''
Despite the rough treatment he's received at home when he's failed in the clutch, A-Rod has no hard feelings in return, Boras said. "Alex admires New York baseball fans. He sets the same high standards for himself that they expect from him,'' Boras said. "The fans are expressing themselves. He expects them to be emotional. Cheering and booing is part of being a good New York Yankee fan.''