Alex Rodriguez has fired uber agent Scott Boras and is now being represented full time by Pittsburgh attorney Jay Reisinger.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today was the first one to run with this this morning, but for reasons that are unclear, the link disappeared as soon as it showed up (UPDATE: It’s back up now, though it has changed a bit). Not sure why USA Today would pull his story, because it was essentially accurate. Nightengale’s report went that A-Rod is “using” Reisinger and has “abandoned” Boras, though Nightengale says that if he ever needed more contract work, “Boras is only a phone call a way.”
Nightengale’s report inspired me to make a couple of phone calls and I’ve learned that all of what he wrote is technically true, but it’s a bit more stark. I’m hearing from reliable sources that A-Rod has definitely fired Scott Boras. Did so about a month ago. It wasn’t really ugly or anything, which is why we didn’t hear about it at the time, but it happened and the relationship is over. Enter Reisinger.
Those who follow the steroids beat know that Reisinger has been representing Rodriguez as his attorney for some time. He counseled him last year when the PED revelations came out and has continued to counsel him to date as A-Rod has been dragged into the Anthony Galea blood spinning stuff. Reisinger also represents Andy Pettitte in connection with the Mitchell Report/Clemens stuff and counseled Sammy Sosa before his infamous congressional testimony (counseled him expertly, as I have written).
But as time has gone on, A-Rod’s trust in Reisinger has grown, and Reisinger has assumed greater responsibility. He is now — and has been for some time — the point of contact between A-Rod, the union, the league and the Yankees. That has made him the defacto agent. Given the sorts of challenges A-Rod faces these days — an investigation and other dealings that are less about negotiating the big contract than they are about various ancillary matters that require greater attention to detail and maybe some hard nosed litigation skills — he just makes more sense than Boras does.
So there we are. Boras isn’t lacking for clients, but he has lost his most famous one.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.
Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.
When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.
What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.
The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.
Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.