You think you got Scott Boras figured out? Think he’s the Antichrist? If so, check out this profile of the Uber Agent from FanHouse’s Jeff Fletcher:
Boras, 57, grew up on his family’s dairy farm in Elk Grove, Calif., just outside of Sacramento. In this case “farm” isn’t just another word for “country.” It was an actual, working farm. Boras milked cows and drove a tractor. He said he learned early how important efficiency was, because it was only by doing his chores quickly and correctly that he could have the time to pursue his passion: baseball . . .
. . . Boras’ first office was a tiny little place in Pomona, a unspectacular, smoggy, community east of Los Angeles that Boras picked because it was located halfway between Dodger Stadium and Anaheim Stadium. The outside of his office was scrawled with graffiti from gangs.
Boras truly came from nothing and built his business through a lot of hard work. He wasn’t gifted with clients via his dad’s golf buddies. He didn’t inherit a portfolio. He gives tons to charities. He’s a family man. He has employees who have worked with him for years and years and they all speak well of him. And despite all of that, he’ll always be thought of as evil because he has demanded that billionaires give his mere millionaire clients a greater cut of the revenue they produce. His clients are rich and famous, but in the world in which they operate, they are the little guy, relatively speaking. We almost always root for the little guy in this world, but not in baseball, and not when Boras is involved. Why?
Sure, his methods are sharp, make no mistake about it. Indeed, I’ve argued on multiple occasions that his representation of multiple free agents at the same position in the same offseason (e.g. Matt Holliday and Johnny Damon) is a conflict of interest. But there’s more than one side to every story. When it comes to Boras, almost everything we read is negative. It’s probably worth taking a look at the positive for once and giving him the same benefit of the doubt we’d give anyone else.
Update (7:01 PM EDT): David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the deal has been completed.
ESPN’s Keith Law reported on Saturday evening that a bad contract swap involving the Braves’ Hector Olivera and the Padres’ Matt Kemp was “getting close.” Olivera has been pulled off the field, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that only a last-second medical would kill the deal at this point, and that the Padres will be sending money to the Braves.
Kemp, 31, will have $64.5 million remaining on his contract through 2019 after this season, but the Dodgers will pay $3.5 million annually over those remaining three years, so the $64.5 million is really $54 million. The veteran has compiled a .262/.285/.489 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 431 plate appearances for the Padres this season.
Olivera, 31, will have $28.5 million remaining on his contract through 2020 after this season. The outfielder was handed an 82-game suspension, beginning on May 26, for his involvement in a domestic dispute on April 13. The suspension is up on August 2. He has a .501 OPS in 21 major league at-bats this season and a .278 OPS in 37 PA at Triple-A.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will consider designating Olivera for assignment. The trade is all about the salary dump for the Padres, as they’d rather give outfield playing time to prospects Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.
The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.
Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.
Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.
Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.