Stay-Rod? Alex Rodriguez tells New York Yankees he wants to stay with the team

>NEW YORK (AP) – Stay-Rod?

In a startling turn of events, Alex Rodriguez spoke with the Steinbrenner family and New York Yankees officials Wednesday and told them he wants to stay in pinstripes.

His longtime agent, Scott Boras, wasn’t involved in the talks. Yankees officials sounded confident the negotiations could lead to an agreement.

“The past is the past. I don’t know what brought about him approaching us,” Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner said in a telephone interview. “I guess you could say things didn’t go the way before that he intended on and weren’t handled properly or whatever.”

“But the bottom line, the only thing that really matters, is he wants to stay a Yankee. And it could be very well that he’s always wanted to stay a Yankee and we just didn’t know it.”

Rodriguez, likely to win his third AL MVP award next week, had not made any public statements since becoming a free agent following the Yankees’ first-round loss to Cleveland in the playoffs. After consulting with his wife and family, Rodriguez reached out to Hank and his brother, Hal, through a third party.

“It became clear to me that I needed to make an attempt to engage the Yankees regarding my future with the organization,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “Prior to entering into serious negotiations with other clubs, I wanted the opportunity to share my thoughts directly with Yankees’ ownership. We know there are other opportunities for us, but Cynthia and I have a foundation with the club that has brought us comfort, stability and happiness.”

When first contacted, the Yankees wondered whether the message was serious. Before Rodriguez terminated his record $252 million, 10-year contract on Oct. 28 – forfeiting $72 million over the final three seasons – Boras told the Yankees they would have to make a $350 million offer just to get a meeting with the third baseman.