The life and times of Scott Boras

Open Thread: Brian Bruney, actor
Not everyone is showing up to Spring Training in the best shape of their lives

A year ago, Scott Boras and Alex Rodriguez suffered through a public and personal divorce. While A-Rod‘s opt-out resulted in a $270-million, 10-year deal from the Yanks, his timing — in the middle of Game 4 of the World Series — earned him universal baseball scorn. With another top client jobless as Spring Training begins, Boras is again on the receiving end of some bad press.

According to a report in the Dominican-based Impacto Deportivo, Manny Ramirez may be on the verge of jettisoning Boras as his agent this week. The free agent could attempt to handle negotiations himself.

For Scott Boras, losing Manny Ramirez at this point in his career wouldn’t be the biggest loss to the agency business. After all, Mark Teixeira, also a Boras client, just landed himself a $180-million, eight-year deal. Boras will draw a far bigger commission from that one Teixeira deal than he will throughout the rest of Manny’s career.

But on the other hand, Boras seems to play a dangerous game with his clients. He tried to steal the spotlight for A-Rod in 2007, and he completely misread the Manny market this year. Teams seem to be getting wise to his dealings. It’s tough to convince a GM that some unknown team is also in on the GM’s top target when the GM is expecting Boras to drop that line.

So instead, Boras the agent tells his clients that he can get them a better deal. Turn down the two-year, $40-million option; turn down the two-year, $45-million offer; turn down the one-year, $25-million offer. Somewhere out there is a three-year offer, and somewhere out there are a bunch of fans who aren’t going to look too kindly on a player haggling over a few million dollars while the American economy hits a recession.

Manny will probably land with the Dodgers. Joe Torre is expecting him, and the team is holding open a locker for the slugger. But he looks bad, and Boras’ players are finally deciding that perhaps the bad press just isn’t worth it. As teams grow tougher, it will be interesting to see how Boras maintains his empire. He didn’t get to the top without smarts, and he’ll have to adapt. It’s all part of the game of the business of baseball.

Open Thread: Brian Bruney, actor
Not everyone is showing up to Spring Training in the best shape of their lives
  • Tom Zig

    Impacto Deportivo also reported that Manny had signed with the Yankees some time ago. I think you guys did a post on Impacto Deportivo’s reliability as being generally pretty good, but being wrong on a couple things here or there. I just take it with a grain of salt.

    Do you think Manny is too lazy to negotiate by himself?

    • Ben K.

      No. I think that Manny’s laziness is a convenient story that the media from Boston has exploited to make that whole divorce a little easier.

      • pat

        Yea, you don’t just roll outta bed and hit like he does.

  • Manimal

    Yeah, Impacto Deportivo is known to have its fair shair of false reports. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • Miles Roche

    Wow, who would’ve thunk last year after the Dodgers were bounced from the playoffs that Manny will go unsigned with 2 days till position players report to Spring Training. . .


  • MJ

    I just can’t believe that Boras would turn down those solid contracts for Manny.

    I thought the 2 year/45 million dollar contract was a great offering. Didn’t believe that he could turn that down.

    How could you as a player listen to a agent when he advises you to turn down 45 million for 2 years? Especially when nearing the end of your career. Definately not implying that his skills have decreased in anyway, but the offer is high for such an age bracket.

    • Mike Pop

      He will still get that type of deal from LA.

  • AndrewYF

    Didn’t Manny usually show up late for Spring Training anyway? Maybe it’s just a ploy to get the Dodgers used to his antics.

    And, I mean, for more money too.

  • Mike

    I would love to see the Yankees announce the signing of ManRam 10 minutes before ARod’s press conference on Tuesday. Just kidding….Or am I?

    • yankeefan91 Arod fan (sign manny now)

      i would love the yanks to do datttttttt

      • Tom Zig

        Sure I wouldn’t mind having Manny, I don’t necessarily believe in him being a club house cancer. The only people I see as being club house cancers are Albert Belle, an angry Sheffield and Barry Bonds towards the end of his career. But to get Manny that’d mean getting a club to pick up all of Matsui’s contract and then clearing another $5-10 million. In other words, not happening.

        • John

          definitely would take the attention off of A-rod

      • whozat

        Sure, were I constructing a roster from scratch where money was no object. But the Yankees AREN’T doing that. Sign Manny for 1/28 or whatever it’d take, and that really costs that, plus luxury tax, plus Matsui’s salary as he’s now relegated to the bench PLUS the tax on that salary.

        Is a DH really worth 50 million dollars for a season? Is the upgrade over matsui REALLY worth that much?

        • Mike Pop

          Well, of course not. But hopefully he somehow he finds it in his heart that he will take a one year deal and then come to the Yankees in 2010 after a World Series and DH for them. That would be just awesome, the Yanks go 98-64 and then sign Manny to DH. Ha.

  • Rich

    If Manny thinks that by firing Boras he can sign with a team that Boras has been negotiating with and not pay him his commission, he’s high.

  • Tom Zig

    If Boston signed Teixeira, would the Yanks have signed Manny?

    • pat

      I think so, and we probably would have traded for cameron too.

  • Al

    Ben, I gotta be honest. I think that any criticism of Scott Boras is hard this offseason. I would say that, well, the economic disaster is the reason that Boras hasn’t gotten Manny a great contract, or has lost leverage in situations. Maybe Manny is jetisoning Boras, but I don’t think Boras is worried about his future negotiating position.

    • Ben K.

      Oh, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think he’s worried about his future negotiating position. It’s more intriguing to me to watch how various players react to his antics and how he adopts as teams learn him. It’s all part of the give-and-take of the business.

      • Chris

        In fact, I think the Tex negotiations helped hie credibility this year. That was a case where he said to Boston, we have another team willing to go higher. Boston blinked, and Tex signed with the Yankees. In the past, it’s never been clear that the mystery other team has ever actually existed.

    • Ed

      I would say that, well, the economic disaster is the reason that Boras hasn’t gotten Manny a great contract, or has lost leverage in situations.

      If the economy didn’t tank, who do you think would be giving Manny $25m/year for 3+ years?

      The Yankees don’t have the room. He burned his bridges in Boston. The Angels don’t like to spend that kind of money on one player. The Cubs have been adding lots of big, backloaded contracts the past few years, so I think they were pretty much tapped out regardless – plus, their ownership situation probably was the key factor in their offseason budgeting. Detroit is already into the luxury tax level, so I don’t see them wanting another giant contract.

      I guess you could make a case that Manny would fit with the Mets, and that they should be able to spend more money. But that’s really it.

  • Rich

    Manny has been hurt as much by his clumsily staged exit strategy out of Boston as has been by his age and the economy. If Boras played a role in that, Manny should be pissed.

  • Mike Pop

    Ben loves writing about Manny, no doubt about that.

  • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    Remember A-Rod said he split with Boras after being embarrassed by the WS opt-out? That he negotiated the Yankee deal by himself?

    Who was reported to have traveled down to Alex’s Star Island home after the steroid story broke? That’s right, Scott Boras.

    I think the “I’m dumping Scott” line has become part of his negotiating strategy. We’ve seen reports lately that McCourt is disgusted with Boras, so maybe this is Scott ‘running an end around’.

  • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    “MLB To Lend A Hand To Type As?

    La Velle E. Neal of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune suggests MLB might allow for a workaround for Type A free agents:

    There have been rumblings that Major League Baseball, which is aware that Type A free agents like Juan Cruz and infielders Orlando Hudson and Orlando Cabrera have been hindered by the compensation rules, are willing to make it easier for teams to sign then trade those free agents. For example, Arizona could sign Cruz to a contract that the Twins are willing to take on. The Twins and Diamondbacks would then work out a trade for Cruz. The Twins could land Cruz without losing a draft pick.

    No word on what MLB would do to facilitate these sign n’ trades. Perhaps they’d just give their approval.

    Neal notes that the Twins have discussed Cruz internally, but wouldn’t be willing to give up their #23 pick in the June draft for him. Also keep in mind that the Twins just brought in reliever Luis Ayala.”

    That’s interesting. Obviously, the compensation would be less than the value of a 1st round pick for the signing team. Or in the Yanks case, less than a 4th rounder. But it would be up to the D-Backs to accept which team to send him to, so the Yanks would have to match or exceed any other offer.

  • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    “About a week ago, [Nick] Swisher seemed to be at the top of the wish list. But that was before Griffey called the Braves and campaigned for the opportunity to play for Atlanta.”

    Apparently, Swisher to Braves will die with a Griffey signing. Fine by me.

  • mko

    Oh oh!
    Pujols weighing Cards’ commitment

    His contract expires in two years.
    Pujols to the Red Sox with Youkilis moving to 3B? I hope not…

    • Jake H

      That would suck bad. Stay in the NL Albert.

      • mko

        Better we pick him up and put him in LF. He has played a lot of games there. ;-)

        • 27 this year

          has he, could he handle it? Because then we could just sign Damon to a one year deal if he does ok this season as a stopgap.

    • steve (different one)

      the Cards hold an option for 2011 on Pujols.

      so, at the least, Pujols won’t be available until 2012.

  • Rob Abruzzese

    I think it worked out better for the Yankees and if Teixeira really wanted to be a Yankee then it worked out for him too, but Boras really screwed Manny Ramirez when Tex signed with the Yanks. At the time they got Tex I thought a contract offer to Manny was just a matter of time.

    It’s just a bad off-season to be a free agent.

  • Januz

    I have no pity for Manny, he knew exectly what he was getting into when he signed with Boras. Where Boras is wrong is this……… He knew all along, if everything was equal, the plan was to send Teixeira to the Yankees (Because Tex wanted to come here, and because Boras needs good a relationship with the Yankees after he has been burning bridges with teams left and right, and the Yankees were not happy about Arod’s opt-out and Gerrit Cole). Knowing that, he knew that Manny would have a difficult time finding a team, so he should have not taken Manny as a client in the first place.
    Scott Boras is a guy who knows his stuff, and has things planned out well in advance, including placing his guys on certain teams (Yankees, Rangers, Red Sox, Dodgers, Tigers and Mariners to name a few (And avoiding others such as the Phillies and White Sox), and coming up with huge volumes of data while overhyping players (See Perez, Oliver “One of the BEST lefthanders in baseball”).
    I think he is still the best at what he does, because of the planning and preparation, but he is starting to slip a bit. The Royals drafted his clients three years in a row, and managed to get them signed, he still can’t get Joe Crede signed, the Veritek & Manny messes, and getting the Danks to favor the White Sox over him are clues to possible slippage.
    This draft and the offseason with Matt Holliday (Because of the economy and lack of quality free agents), will give you a good indication of how successful Boras will be in the future.

    • steve (different one)

      Cole had NOTHING to do with Boras.

      think about it, why on earth would Boras not want his client to take the Yankees’ millions?

      the Yankees are not upset with Boras over Cole, he never even entered the picture.

  • RobC

    what is the agent commission on player contracts?