Saturday, December 27, 2008

Boras Losing Some Shimmer?

This from Kat O'Brien, via River Ave. Blues:

Even Tuesday, hours before Teixeira agreed to terms, the Yankees were pessimistic about getting the 28-year-old slugger, the source said. Boras told the Yankees they needed a 10-year deal, with the last two years as player options. That got an absolute no from the Yankees, who had offered eight years and $180 million ($22.5 million per year).

Around midday Tuesday, Boras said Teixeira would agree to an eight-year contract, but only if the average annual value was $24 million per year, making the total contract value $192 million. The Yankees conferred, then told Boras no, that they had made a fair yet firm offer and would stand pat, the source said. Boras responded by saying that Teixeira likely would be a Red Sox.

The Yankees refused to budge from their offer, and 20 minutes later, Boras called back and said Teixeira would take their eight-year, $180-million offer.
Presuming this is accurate, it seems like GMs and owners have a much better idea of Boras' hand as the negotiations are playing out. John Henry also called Boras' bluff on the higher offer which was probably the same one he was pitching to the Yanks. Last year when A-Rod opted out, no one fell for the 10 year/$333 Million deal minimum that Boras was demanding.

Especially in this economy, there are going to be fewer Tom Hickses and more John Henrys. But, could the increased fluidity of information via the internet and email also be at work here? A team is far less likely to get suckered into a deal that is way higher than the next bidder, because there is increased communication around the league and in the media (especially writer's blogs which are updated constantly), which helps set a firmer market. If everyone has access to the same information, there is bound to be a greater consensus of what a player is truly worth.

This works against Boras in trying to maintain his nearly flawless super-agent persona. He's still probably the best in the game, but the gap is closing between he and guys like Casey Close, Randy Hendricks and Arn Tellum (although Tellum isn't looking so hot after the Furcal to the Braves debacle).

Are we approaching the point where the stigma of being a Boras client outweighs the extra money that a player makes by signing with him? Probably not, but we can dream can't we?

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