You don’t hear a ton about the inner workings of player-agent relationships, but it can get pretty contentious. One point of contention: when a player fires his agent and signs with a new one just before a big payday. That’s what Carlos Beltran did with Scott Boras before Beltran signed with the Cardinals, and Boras wanted a cut of that deal. Beltran just prevailed:
Boras was seeking 5% of Beltran’s contract with St. Louis, citing a provision in their agreement that required payment if he prematurely terminated him.
While many agents, including Boras, have used the provision for years, it was ruled unenforceable by independent arbitrator Shyam Das, who sided with the players union.
Beltran says that Boras didn’t do any of the negotiating of that deal, so why should Boras get a cut? Which is a pretty good point. Even if that sort of provision is not enforceable anymore, if the agent did actually do work for the player, presumably he can still assert a claim to get his fair share based on the facts of the negotiation as opposed to the mere operation of a contract clause. The agent-player stuff is a weird and often sordid world. Client-poaching and the like. It’s probably best for agents to get paid for what they do, not the mere fact of a relationship.
Show your work, Boras.