Thursday, January 28, 2010

Some Advice For Scott Boras

This has been brought up elsewhere on the interwebs, but I wanted to touch upon it a bit more here. Has uber agent Scott Boras lost a little bit off his fastball?

Two years ago he badly, badly botched the A-Rod opt out situation, both from a public relations standpoint and in grossly overestimating the market for his client. Had A-Rod not come crawling back to the Yankees on his own and had Hank Steinbrenner not been in a historically giving mood, A-Rod might have found himself without a suitor capable of matching the deal from which he opted out. Given the hard budgetary line Hal has drawn in the sand this off-season, consider how differently the A-Rod situation might have played out had Hal been calling all the shots two years ago.

That spring, Boras client Pedro Alvarez was the second pick in the draft. Under Boras' guidance, Alvarez did not sign a contract prior to the August 15th signing deadline. Not only did this lead to the MLBPA filing a grievance against the Pirates and Alvarez being temporarily placed on the restricted list, but it delayed the start of Alvarez' career and created bad blood between him and his ballclub before he even put on a uniform.

Last off season, he foolishly steered Jason Varitek away from accepting arbitration from the Red Sox, only to find that there wasn't much of a free agent market for the declining backstop. Varitek reupped with the Sox for $5M, while accepting arbitration would have guaranteed him a raise on the $9M he made in 2008. That deal did lead to Varitek having a $3M option for the upcoming season, but the $8M total over 2009-10 is less than what he would have earned in 2009 had he accepted arbitration.

This year, Boras gambled with Matt Holliday and was lucky enough to get the Cardinals to outbid themselves by several million dollars. As we all know by now though, Boras wasn't quite so lucky with Johnny Damon. Boras admittedly paid Damon no mind until the Holliday situation was resolved; completely overplayed his hand with the Yankees, Braves, and Giants; and is losing the public relations battle badly.

So here's a little unsolicited advice for Scott Boras. Take a good look at this picture:

Firstly Mr. Boras, if you don't remove your head from your ass in the immediate future, your client will be photographed golfing far more often since he'll no longer be playing baseball.

Secondly, take a good look at Johnny's swing. Perhaps you can market your client as a switch hitter, a dead low ball hitter from the right side, in a last ditch effort to squeeze a few extra million out of some poor, unsuspecting, mystery team.

(Photo from i-yankees)


  1. Detroit Michael1/28/10, 4:20 PM

    A-Rod got more money than if he hadn't opted out. Pedro Alvarez got a better deal than if he had gone the normal way. I don't know how those go into Scott Boras' loss column if you're keeping score.

  2. If you're scoring strictly on dollars, which I'm sure Boras does, you're correct.

    But, as I tried to point out above, had A-Rod pulled the same move with Hal rather than Hank, he wouldn't have received the same deal. He got lucky in that regard; Boras still over estimated the market.

    As for Alvarez, you're right on the dollar amount. But as with A-Rod, his image took a pretty big hit in the process. What sort of resentment from established veterans do you think a guy like Alvarez would get in Big League camp after what he pulled? Not the best way to start a career. Plus, it's still unclear as to what happened. The Pirates still contend they had a binding contract with Alvarez and it was only after Boras interfered that the offer supposedly arrived after the deadline.

    Boras does well to get his clients top dollar. I'm wondering if he does that at the cost of his clients' happiness. It would appear that in Johnny Damon's case he has.

  3. Alvarez's restructured deal was actually worth less in terms of present value. His only real benefit of the grievance was getting a major league contract.