Ever wonder how SI.com’s Jon Heyman ends up breaking so many signings? Sounds like Rich Lederer of The Baseball Analysts has a reasonable explanation (h/t The Yankee Universe). He starts off by noting Heyman’s recent breaking of the Jason Varitek signing, and then makes an observation regarding Heyman’s biography:
If you’re wondering how Heyman got wind of the news before any of the Boston beat writers or columnists, be aware that he had Mark Teixeira going to the Yankees before anyone else and, according to his biography, also “broke the story of Barry Bonds going to the Giants in 1992…Alex Rodriguez going to the Yankees in 2004, A-Rod opting out of his $252-million contract in 2007 and Manny Ramirez going to the Dodgers in 2008.”
Let’s see here. Is there a common thread among Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Manny Ramirez, Jason Varitek, and Barry Bonds? There’s got to be something. What could they all have in common? Oh yeah! They were all represented by Scott Boras at the time of those respective transactions. Is Heyman then a media puppet, used by Boras to hype up his clients in exchange for scoops on those clients signing? Lederer apparently thinks so.
You see, Boras throws Heyman a bone on a Tek or Tex signing but also uses him to spread rumors about the level of interest and terms in ongoing free agent negotiations to create a false sense of demand. Teams that fall for this trick wind up competing against themselves, which is exactly what Boras desires.
While Boras is no fool, Heyman is a tool for the Scott Boras Corporation. Boras knows how to game the system to get the best deals for his clients and will gladly use Heyman as long as the latter plays along or until the market realizes what is going on. As it stands now, it’s almost as if Heyman, who is no stranger to the Boras suites during the winter meetings, is on the SBC payroll.
Lederer goes on to chronicle Heyman’s work regarding Manny Ramirez, starting with his trade to Los Angeles last summer and going all the way through January 28. Given the emphasis Lederer puts on certain lines, I can completely understand why he comes to the puppet-master conclusion.
This does work out for us fans in some way. We hear about signings rather early, as we saw during the Teixeira saga. Since it’s information we crave, this works out well. However, it also creates a mass of false information in the interim, which can be bothersome. We can filter out this noise, however, and just concentrate on Heyman’s “this is a done deal” reports. In other words, I’d recommend subscribing to his blog so you can find out about things like the Mets agreeing in principle with Oliver Perez. For the rest of the material, though, you might want to familiarize yourself with the “Mark as Read” button.
This is your open thread for the evening. The local teams are off in hockey, the Knicks host L.A. in the only local pro hoops action, and new No. 1 UConn heads to No. 7 Louisville (Go Huskies, right Matt?).