Front-office executives generally agree that opt-out clauses are a no-win proposition for teams. If a free agent is bad (e.g., Chan Ho Park), he gets the cash regardless. If the player performs well and the market goes crazy, he can use his opt-out clause to hit the open market or squeeze an extension out of his current club.
"It certainly is for the most part a player-friendly clause," said Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, who was not a happy man when [J.D.] Drew opted out in Los Angeles. "There's little debate on that."
...[Alex] Rodriguez's production still ranks among the elite players in the game. [If] it becomes increasingly clearer that the A-Rod-New York union isn't working and he's going to opt out, potential suitors are standing in line.
The Angels are always looking for help for Vladimir Guerrero, and the Dodgers might be willing to sign another big Boras client despite the hard feelings from Drew's abrupt departure. The Nationals want a marquee name as they prepare to move into a new park in April 2008, and the Red Sox, those freethinkers, can never be counted out as players. Maybe Seattle fails to re-sign Ichiro Suzuki and decides to dump Adrian Beltre and bring back A-Rod to resurrect the good old days.
Okay, let's count the stab wounds for Dodger fans in those four paragraphs alone: Chan Ho Park (although the Rangers assume most of that pain; half a stab), J.D. Drew (one stab), Vladimir Guerrero (the fish that got away—thanks, Frank!—stab-and-a-half), Adrian Beltre (one stab).
Total stabs: four. Tears spilled in beer: four hundred.