Tony Massarotti does a post-mortem on the Red Sox’ unsuccessful pursuit of Mark Teixeira. Nothing all that shocking or new here, but then he says something interesting:
5. Can Boras and the Red Sox still do business?
The answer to this question is probably yes, but one can only wonder. Part of the problem is this type of negotiation is that people begin spinning the media and whispering into friendly ears when things get ugly, which only complicates the process. Just once, it would be nice if people answered questions honestly – and if reporters all eschewed “background’’ and “informational’’ discussions for the purpose of getting to the truth.
Boras still represents a number of Red Sox clients, including J.D. Drew and Daisuke Matsuzaka. He also represents Jason Varitek, who is now a free agent. The Sox’ last two conclusive dealings with Boras have involved the Manny Ramirez fiasco and Teixeira, raising serious questions about the relationship between the agent and team. Boras seems to harbor no ill will toward Epstein, though his camp is quick to portray Sox president Larry Lucchino as the bad cop given Boras’ adversarial relation with Lucchino.
In the wake of the Teixeira development, has any damage been done to the relationship between agent and team?
Or, in the words of the Corleone family, is this all chalked up to being just part of a dirty business?
Reader MooseinOhio — who sent me the link (thanks, Moose!) — says:
Boras certainly walks a fine line in his dealings (e.g. referencing ‘phantom’ deals on the table, stretching the process out and affecting a team’s ability to have an option B and C still available) and I would be curious what would happen to his efforts if the Sox pulled a Frank Wren and refused to deal with him in the future as one of the big money players took their chips to another table.
I don’t know how likely that is. Frank Wren’s recent fatwa against Arn Tellem and his crew wasn’t an isolated incident in Bravesland, as John Schuerholz all but gave up on Boras clients in 2003 after Greg Maddux’s decision to accept arbitration when, allegedly, Boras assured Schuerholz that he wouldn’t. In short, the Braves have a history of getting emotional and arguably irrational about this stuff, so their example may not be the best one.
Still, one has to wonder how long Boras can get away with this. The part of me that values professional ethics and people keeping their word often makes me wish that his business would crater. The part of me that understands how the world really works, however, convinces me that Boras, whatever his methods, will continue to be outrageously successful until the exact moment that insanely talented ballplayers stop hiring him.