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.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.