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.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.