You knew Texas was stuck: A-Rod had to go, or the financial house of cards which is the Texas Rangers might have come tumbling down. Essentially, Boston could not afford A-Rod and at the same time look into '05 with several other key parts (Pedro, Lowe, Varitek, and Nomar) all up for contract renewal.
Who else had the money? George did, always does.
George's payroll last season was in the neighborhood of $165M; this year, with A-Rod it goes to about $190M. If the Yankees win 100 games in 2004 (unlikely in our opinion), each win will cost George almost $2M.
A-Rod's salary, at $25M annually, is nearing the projected salary for the 2004 Milwaukee Brewers - $30M.
The Luxury Tax does actually "punish" George by assessing a financial penalty for exceeding a specific team salary limit; it was expected to act as a deterrent to out of control spending. Earlier this winter Yanks GM Brian Cashman was quoted as saying that the team had no interest in adding to its already imposing payroll.
The Bottom Line, pun intended, is that for a team with the resources of the Yankees, and with an owner hell-bent on winning like George, the Luxury Tax is merely an irritating Speed Bump or Toll Booth. On the contrary, the Luxury Tax does act as a successful deterrent to any of the other teams (say the Red Sox) that might be thinking of trying to match George in the payroll department; not only do they have to try to match base resources with George, they also have to pay the Tax.
So George wins anyway, because no other organization out there can match his resources, period.
It must have burned his ass last year when the modestly-equipped Marlins whipped his star-laden team.
Good Luck A-Rod; you got what you wanted.