Is Scott Boras screwing himself in the end?

For years, Scott Boras has been known as an agent who gets his clients the absolute best deal possible financially. His clients – Barry Zito, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, etc – have walked away from past contract negotiations with fat bank accounts and big smiles on their faces.

But in playing hardball yet again with another club (the Los Angeles Dodgers) in order to get Manny Ramirez a long-term deal, Boras could be screwing himself in the long run.

From’s Peter Gammons:

Manny RamirezScott Boras has put the heat on Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, and there has been no love lost. The L.A. scouting department has been told it will not draft Boras clients come June.

That may hold true for a number of teams. With the economy in its current state, the Yankees, Red Sox and perhaps two or three other teams may be willing to ignore the commissioner’s office’s attempts to fix draft prices. Boras and other agents may determine that high school players would be better off coming out in 2012 when the economy should be more stable.

Boras represents outfielder Donavan Tate, Baseball America’s top high school positional prospect, and could decide that Tate will be better served playing quarterback and baseball at North Carolina and allowing MLB and the NFL to set his price in 2012. Without the Dodgers and Tigers in the bidding, there may be very few teams other than the Yankees and Red Sox that may even contemplate Boras’ price on a high school player.

Boras has cashed in for years on clubs’ dimes, but in doing so it appears that he has alienated himself in the process. Teams like the Dodgers are finally fighting back against bully agents like Boras, who might lose clients soon if he doesn’t change his negotiating tactics. He relies on two or more teams being interested in his clients and then he wages a war between the two clubs, who are often more than willing to drive up the price so that even if they don’t eventually acquire said player, the team they’re fighting against will have to pay top dollar.

But in the recent case of Manny Ramirez, Boras has one team that’s officially interested (the Dodgers) and one team that might-kind-of-sort-of be interested (the Giants). And unless the Giants pony up and officially offer a long-term deal soon, the Dodgers will continue their refusal to budge on their one-year, $25 million offer. And worse yet, now the Dodgers are instructing their scouts that no Boras client will be drafted and apparently other clubs are doing the same.

Boras is losing the Manny-contract battle and soon yet, he might be losing more than that.

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