Tis the Season for Scott Boras

BorasWith clients Mark Texiera, Manny Ramirez, and Derek Lowe entering contract renegotiations during the offseason, agent Scott Boras is busier now than ever. The Los Angeles Times recently interviewed Boras about his humble beginnings and his 70-plus employee company, Boras Corp.:

Boras said his company has negotiated about $4 billion in contracts. He represents more than 70 major league players and another 70 minor leaguers, who are well taken care of. The Boras Corp. employs two psychologists and a conditioning coach who runs the Boras Sports Fitness Institute. The company has a marketing and personal management division.

Boras said his company has never had outside investors.

“You can’t have bills because your interest has to solely be on the athlete,” he said. “In the corporate world, a lot of agents have demands on them from the board. They have to make revenue. My attitude is that whatever you do in this business, whatever you own, whatever you have has to be paid for. That way when you’re negotiating, you’re negotiating strictly for the client, not for the need for money.”

But it also meant, Boras said, that he lost money in his first 10 years in the business.

Boras was the second-oldest of four children who grew up in a modest household in Elk Grove, south of Sacramento.
He said he used to wake up between 4:30 and 5 a.m. every morning to work on the family farm. Until his chores were done, he said, he couldn’t play baseball.

He earned a scholarship to the University of the Pacific and was a minor league outfielder and infielder in the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs systems.

He went to law school when his career was cut short by knee injuries and did medical malpractice work in Chicago. He started representing some of his former teammates and became a full-time agent in 1985.

Boras has been credited — and vilified — for his role in landing record contracts for major league and amateur players.

Boras has proved that being a big-name agent can be just as valuable as being a big-name athlete. And in baseball circles, Boras has become a household name. After he negotiated Alex Rodriguez’s 10-year, $252-million deal in 2000, he became the agent of choice for many blue chip ball players. Still, team owners and general managers constantly approach Boras with caution. He negotiated huge contracts for players that turned out to be huge busts (Andruw Jones, Barry Zito) and he’s convinced players to spontaneously abandon current contracts on a whim when a better opportunity presents itself (J.D. Drew).

The next few months are going to huge for the Boras Corp. Despite our decaying economy, Boras will remind us all why Manny being Manny is profitable anywhere.

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