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.
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”
Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”
Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.