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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Now That The World Series Is Over…….

It’s time for one of my favorite times of the year in baseball, the Hot Stove League…a.k.a. the time when players change teams and change the landscape of MLB for the following season. Let’s start by taking a look at the big names that will be moved or signed as free agents in the coming months, and be sure to check back in with us each week during the cold months….

Manny Ramirez—Word is the Dodgers do not want to sign Manny to a 4-5 year deal the way agent Scott Boras would like. That leaves open the very real possibility that Manny could be heading back to the American League where he can DH for a team like (are you ready for this?) Toronto. I don’t know, that just doesn’t seem right, does it? But it sure would tighten up a tough division even more. My feeling is Manny stays in LA for two years or so. The Yankees will also have to make a bid, and you might expect the Mets to as well just to say they did.

CC Sabathia—The Brewers would love nothing more than to re-sign their ace who came over from Cleveland in July and almost led them to the promised land. Well, he did almost single-handedly land the team in the playoffs. CC likes Milwaukee, but yearns for the west coast where he is from. The Dodgers might open their wallet here, especially if Manny goes elsewhere. The Yankees are also expected to bid, so the $$ could go high.

Jake Peavy—The hot rumor is that Peavy is being courted in a trade by the Braves, but GM Frank Wren is not itchy to give up the top prospects the Padres are looking for.

Francisco Rodriguez—The Angels’ closer who saved a major league record 62 saves in 2008, is expected to receive a hefty offer from the Mets to replace Billy Wagner.

Mark Teixeira—The Angels are likely to re-sign him, but if the Yankees do not get Sabathia, expect a run from them as well.

Other news….

Detroit’s Freddy Garcia has filed for free agency after pitching just three games for the Tigers in 2008……Seattle’s Raul Ibanez has also filed…AJ Burnett is likely to opt out of his contract with Toronto, and is expected to do so before next week’s GM meetings….Ken Griffey’s option was declined by the White Sox, who didn’t make it past the first round of the playoffs against Tampa. Griffey should find a home in the American League as a DH….Florida traded 1B Mike Jacobs to Kansas City on Thursday for pitcher Leo Nunez….the Tigers declined the option on Edgar Renteria….the Dodgers’ Jeff Kent is finally expected to retire…..in Brewers news, Ben Sheets has declared free agency, and they have named former A’s manager Ken Macha to replace Ned Yost…the Brew Crew also declined their option on infielder Craig Counsell yesterday.

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