We’re roughly two weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to mark the beginning of Spring Training, and yet, the Hot Stove is still very much active. It’s lukewarm and slow, but it’s active nonetheless.
Top free agents such as Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, J.D. Martinez, Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish, and many more still remain on the open market without a team to call home. According to reports, many of them have received handsome contract offers, but they still have yet to sign. How could this be, you ask? There are a number of reasons, but one of the biggest is the man affectionately known as “the most hated man in baseball,” agent Scott Boras.
Every baseball fan knows who Scott Boras is, and more than likely, they all hate him too. While I’m not fan either, I will say that Boras is great at what he does. He always has his client’s best interests at heart and he will always make sure they get top dollar when they hit free agency. If you’re a future superstar in the MLB, you want Scott Boras as your agent. However, the way he handles business is why he is so despised by the fans, executives, and owners.
As indicated above, Boras will do whatever it takes to earn his clients a highly lucrative contract, and he’ll never settle for less. For example, the Red Sox reportedly offered J.D. Martinez, a Boras client, a 5 year deal worth $125 million, and Boras turned it down, firmly believing that Martinez is worth much more than that. You read that right. We live in a world where $25 million a year for a professional athlete still isn’t enough.
Over his career, Boras have never yielded or settled on a deal, and why should he? He’s been doing it for years and the owners and general managers have continuously given into his ridiculous demands every time. However, this tides may be turning and the trend of lucrative deals seems to be coming to an end. It’s called a market reset.
There is a growing speculation in the baseball community that the owners are refusing to give out ridiculously overpriced contracts in an attempt reset the market and bring the asking prices back down to Earth. Doing so has angered the players union and agents like Boras, who are suspecting collusion to prevent players from getting their worth. Personally, I’m all for a reset.
These contracts are out of control. There are too many aging stars already in their thirties getting paid way more than they are actually worth, and the end result is a team being stuck with a terrible contract (see Jacoby Ellsbury). Curving the spending and making these spoiled athletes lower their demands is the right way to go. A Mets fan who’s against his team spending money. What is the world coming to?
Those of you who still think this market reset is a dumb idea, just hear me out. Bryce Harper, a Scott Boras client who is set to headline one of the biggest free agent classes in recent history next offseason, reportedly wanted a $400 million contract. That would have accounted for 20% percent of the Red Sox opening day payroll from last season. Still think it’s a bad idea?
Scott Boras isn’t the sole problem with baseball today, but he’s certain a part of it. His influence over free agency is still strong, but he may have finally met his match. The owners aren’t budging and if his clients want to play this season, he needs to swallow his pride and stop being stubborn. Will he finally yield and settle after all these years? Only time will tell.