The next day Hart and Cashman were negotiating the framework of the deal. By Sunday, Rodriguez had his Yankees uniform number picked out: 13, his high school football number. His usual baseball number, 3, was retired by the Yankees in homage to another young slugger who slipped through Boston's fingers to New York: Babe Ruth.
"Once Scott brought it to my attention, it made perfect sense," Rodriguez says about moving to third base to be a Yankee. "I began to think about the pinstripes. I felt the allure of the tradition and the opportunity to win and asked myself, Why not do it?
"You know the best part? Getting there while I'm still young and knowing I have seven years to play with Derek and set my legacy as far as being a part of Yankees history. Getting there at 37 and playing two years wouldn't be the same."
His Yankees history, born of misfortune, already has begun.