Reader MooseinOhio hips me to an amazing post from Boston.com’s Buzz blog:
According to NESN’s Red Sox reporter Heidi Watney, free-agent catcher Jason Varitek said he was not aware that teams would have to surrender a No. 1 draft pick in order to sign him and he takes full responsibility for his decision to turn down salary arbitration from the Red Sox . . .
. . . “Varitek told me he wasn’t aware that teams would have to give up draft picks now in addition to paying him and that’s something that definitely cost him and he takes full responsibility for that,” according to Watney. “He doesn’t blame Boras for that.”
None of that makes any sense, so let’s unpack it:
Possibility #1: Boras didn’t tell Varitek about the consequences of the Sox offering him arbitration.
Consequence: extreme malpractice
Comment: There’s no way Boras doesn’t know about the compensation rule and there’s no way he doesn’t hip his client to it. Boras is a lot of things, but a dummy isn’t one of them, and he’d have to know that he’d be sued six ways from Sunday if he failed to provide his client with critical information like this.
Possibility #2: Boras told Varitek about the consequences of the Sox offering him arbitration, but Varitek misunderstood or ignored it.
Consequence: the loss of millions of dollars Varitek would have received in arbitration.
Comment: This scenario is what is implied by the article. As Moose noted to me, however, “Varitek is one of the most prepared and knowledgeable catchers in the game, so are we really to expect that he cannot translate that talent to his contract circumstance and know all the nuances of how the process works? And if he cannot – what does that say about him?”
Possibility #3: Boras told Varitek about the consequences of the Sox offering him arbitration and Varitek understood it, but they agreed to throw the dice anyway believing that they could sucker the Sox or someone else into giving him a multi-year deal, that failed, and now they’re backtracking.
Likelihood: off the charts
Consequence: A low dollar pity deal from the Sox because they knew exactly what Boras and Varitek are doing and read the market way better than they did.
Comment: This is classic Boras, no? I can almost see the conversation in which he tells Varitek that, if it doesn’t work, he’ll take the PR hit so that Sox fans don’t have any ill-will towards the captain. As soon as the conversation was over, of course, Boras had Varitek sign an acknowledgment or waiver regarding these facts. As we speak, said waiver is probably sitting in the safe next to A-Rod’s waiver regarding the consequences of his opt-out and Pedro Alvarez’s waiver about the signing deadline shenanigans.
At least that’s my guess as to what happened. Anyone have a better one?