Rangers official says 3-team deal 'not happening'

Leave a comment

Various rumors have been swirling around today about a potential three-team trade that would supposedly send Kevin Millwood to the Mets, Luis Castillo to the Cubs, and Milton Bradley to the Rangers.
Even at first glance that seems like a “which one of these things doesn’t belong” test question, because while the Mets and Cubs would like nothing more than to dump Castillo and Bradley the Rangers have a whole lot less incentive to give up Millwood.
He’ll make $12 million in 2010, which is certainly pricey, but that’s the same amount the Mets still owe Castillo and Bradley is due $21 million over the next two years.
Millwood is likely to regress in 2010 because his secondary numbers weren’t nearly as good as his 3.67 ERA, but the notion of paying a decent mid-rotation starter $12 million for one year is downright appealing compared to Bradley or Castillo for two years.
Not surprisingly, when MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan actually asked a high-ranking Rangers official about the rumored swap, the response was simple: “Not happening.”
It’s possible that Texas may be open to reuniting with Bradley, who had the best season of his career with the Rangers in 2008, but there’s no reason for them to give up anything of value to make that happen and the idea that the Mets could deal a completely unwanted player in Castillo for a decent starting pitcher is awfully wishful thinking.

Scott Boras says it would be a conflict of interest for an agent to become a GM

Elsa/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Earlier, Craig wrote about the latest in the Mets’ search for a new general manager. Their list has been pared down to three candidates: Chaim Bloom (Rays senior VP of baseball operations), Doug Melvin (Brewers senior advisor), and agent Brodie Van Wagenen (of Creative Artists Agency).

It’s a diverse list, for sure, which makes one wonder what process allowed them to arrive at these final three candidates. Bloom is new school, Melvin is older-school, and Van Wagenen is… just inexperienced. Van Wagenen in particular is an interesting candidate as he has spent years advocating on his clients’ behalf. As a GM, he would do the exact opposite: he would try to take advantage of his players whenever possible, like every other GM in baseball does (e.g. manipulating service time).

Per Mike Puma of the New York Post, agent Scott Boras thinks there would be a conflict of interest if an agent were to become a GM. Boras, in fact, says he has turned down opportunities to lead front offices. But there is no verbiage saying that an agent must divest himself of his business interests before taking a job in a front office. Dave Stewart and Jeff Moorad are two examples of agents who later went onto the ownership side of the business. Stewart, in fact, moved into the front office after retiring and held various roles in with various organizations until he started Sports Management Partners (renamed Stewart Management Partners). He transferred control of the agency to Dave Henderson before he joined the Diamondbacks’ front office near the end of the 2014 season.

Ownership and labor are in constant conflict, even when things seem peaceful. Ownership wants to extract as much labor as possible as cheaply as possible. Labor wants to be paid for their work as much as possible. Their goals contradict each other and yet they need each other. While not required, usually being deeply on one side or the other — as agents and GM’s are — speaks to one’s personal ethos about the eternal tug-of-war. That Van Wagenen is so eager to switch sides speaks, perhaps, to opportunism. I would be, at minimum, unsettled if I were a client of Wan Wagenen’s at CAA. How might he use the sensitive information he was privy to as an agent to his advantage as a GM?

We have seen the analytics wave take over front offices around baseball. As ownership looks for ever more ways to pocket more cash, Van Wagenen’s candidacy may signal an upcoming wave of agents transitioning into front office roles. Hopefully that doesn’t become the case. There may be no one better equipped to take advantage of labor than someone experienced on that side of the battlefield.