February 2012

Memo to Scott Boras: You work for your clients

About six weeks ago, I asked the question, Is Baseball growing tired of Scott Boras?

I think the answer is yes, and I have heard from people in the game that some teams won’t deal with him at all. If you are an agent for a player, there simply can’t be teams that are unwilling to deal with you. As an agent, you are supposed to provide your client the best possible representation, and you can’t do that if, by your reputation, you are eliminating options for your client.

Boras had three of the top free agents in this year’s crop in Prince Fielder, Edwin Jackson and Ryan Madson. Fielder got eight years, $214 million from Detroit. Now if you look at Fielder’s power numbers, they are comparable to those of Albert Pujols, yet Prince signed a deal that is two years shorter and $40 million lighter than the one Pujols signed. And Prince is four years younger.

Jackson is a 28-year-old pitcher who makes every start and throws 200 innings a year, capable of reaching 98 mph on a radar gun. Considering the premium on starting pitching, it’s a joke that Jackson, who has no history of injury, ended up with a one-year deal.

But the deal that tells me teams are tired of Boras is the Madson deal. Madson signed a one-year deal with the Reds for $8.5 mil. The Phillies reportedly made a four-year $44 million deal that was pulled back. What wasn’t reported was that the Phillies came back with a three-year deal for $33.mil, which, being a  good friend of Madson’s, I know for a fact he would have signed.  He wanted to stay in Philly. He was happy there and didn’t want to go anywhere. But Ryan didn’t even get the chance to accept the deal because his agent turned it down without even consulting him.

Where Boras is getting confused is that the players he represents don’t work for him; he works for them. So, ultimately he cost Madson $24.5 mil. I have no doubt that Ryan will go out and have another good year this year. But let’s look at a worst-case scenario. What if he gets injured? That $24.5 million would be a really big piece of mind that Madson was never given the opportunity to accept, because his agent felt he had the right to speak for his client without consulting him. I write this based on what was told to me  directly by Madson.

Agents are supposed to create the biggest pool of bidders they can. They are not supposed to limit the size of the pool because general managers would rather pass on a player than deal with his agent. An agent is paid to provide a service, but Scott Boras is doing his clients a disservice. For an agent to turn down a deal without consulting his “EMPLOYER” –  that is right, Mr. Boras. You are an employee of the players you represent. It is my opinion that prince could have gotten a better, longer deal if he had represented himself.

This is my opinion, so people can take it for what it’s worth. Had Madson, Jackson and even Fielder had an agent that was liked or, more importantly respected, by the GMs in the game, each of them would have ended up with better deals than they got. I know one for a fact. Madson would have signed a three-year deal for $33 million. Instead he got a one-year deal for $8.5 million. I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but I can count like hell. $33 million is way better than $8.5 million.


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