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Blog Entry

Sleazy Agent Men

Posted on: January 7, 2012 11:58 am
Edited on: January 30, 2012 2:04 pm
 

This is a look at three high profile agents and three high profile players. 

 

Agent one and player one are Peter Greenberg, and Jose Reyes.

This past off season Jose Reyes signed a 6 year 106 M dollar contract with the Miami Marlins.  The contract did not contain a no trade clause.  Why do I mention that aspect?  The Marlins do not have a solid fan base in the best of seasons and despite winning the World Series in 1997 and in 2003 have drawn 3 M fans only once.  That was in the Marlins first season 1993, in 1997 when they won the first Championship attendance was 2.4 M.  By the time the Marlins won their second Championship the fan base was jaded.  Owner Wayne Huizenga broke up the 1997 team and with it the fan base.  By the time newest owner Jeff Loria won the second World Series, the attendance in that year was an embarrassing 1.3 M with a payroll of $45 M.  Once again the Marlins sold off the team and by 2006 the opening day payroll was $15 M.  In the last 14 seasons the Marlins payroll has been in the bottom 20% of the League in every year but one.  Loria has been exceptionally fortunate; Allan Huber Selig gave him the opportunity to purchase the Marlins for 158 M including a 38 M no interest loan from MLB by taking the Montreal Expos off his hands.  He stepped into a situation where the Marlins won the World Series the following year.  After he sold off the assets of that team he fielded a team with a payroll of less than MLB was giving him in revenue sharing for a number of years.  He was also the beneficiary of a 500 M taxpayer bond to pay for a new stadium.  That stadium is going to open this year and is the reason why Loria signed Heath Bell to 3 years 27 M, Reyes and Mark Buehrle to a 4 year 58 M $ contract which is only 17 M owed in the first two years.  The Reyes contract of 106 M only pays Reyes 20 M over the first two years leaving an eight-six million dollar balance in the remaining 4 years.  Jeff Loria has been a snake in the past and the handwriting on the wall is that he has his exit strategy already laid out.  New stadium gratis of the taxpayers, big name signings with back loaded contracts equals maximum revenue while the payroll is low and before the stadium allure is over.  The Expos won’t be the only team he dumps on MLB.  Peter Greenberg cannot be that dumb to not see what the future holds, but he can be that greedy to put his percentage of 106 M over the next highest bid of 80 M in front of the well being of his client.  Why not?  It will be Reyes’ last big contract and if Reyes ends up in Kansas City, so be it.

Dan Lozano is the agent for Albert Pujols, and according to rumor recruits new clients with hookers and booze.  I imagine that the other back stabbing sub human species that are also agents are the foundation of this rumor or are annoyed that they didn’t think of it first.  Pujols was courted by three teams; the Cardinals whom he felt low balled him from the very start.  This he regarded as an insult to the man who had been the center of the team for a decade.  The Marlins who either he or Lozano recognized were looking to use Pujols as a marketing tool.  This was apparent by their refusal to give him a no trade clause in the contract which reached 274 M for 10 years.  The Angels did give Pujols the no trade clause and signed him to a contract of 254 M for 10 years.  Arte Morano, owner of the Angels got his wish but will very likely learn the meaning of the saying “be careful of what you wish for”.  Pujols is listed at 32 years of age but is widely believed in baseball circles to be as old as 35.

The final agent is Scott Boras; a piece about sleazy agents couldn’t be complete with out Boras.  Where Boras unsuccessfully tried to steal Reyes last season he was successful in signing K-Rod away from his former agent Peter Kinzer. 

PHOENIX-- Agent Scott Boras confirmed he is now representing New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez.  Rodriguez, 29, is in the final guaranteed season of a deal that pays at least three years, $37 million and was negotiated by former agent Paul Kinzer.  If Rodriguez finishes 55 games this season, a vesting option for $17.5 million kicks in for 2012. Otherwise, K-Rod receives a $3.5 million buyout in addition to his $11.5 million salary for this season.

 "This is something that Sandy and Frankie and I will talk about," Boras said. . Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com. 7/11/11

One day later Rodriguez was traded to the Brewers.   What I believe happened, and the senario that makes sense is that Rodriguez, the Mets and the Brewers reached an agreement before the trade, otherwise the Brewers who already have (John Axford 46 Svs) would have been insane to take on Rodriguez with a 17.5 M vesting option pending.  The agreement was reached and the trade took place.  The Brewers bought out his vested option in exchange for a mutual option, Rodriguez got the opportunity to go to a team with playoff ambitions, his agent Boras sold Francisco Rodriguez that it was in his best interest.   

The following is from FOX Sports, Ken Rosenthal 7/15/2011.

According to sources, newly acquired closer Francisco Rodriguez has freed Milwaukee from the burden of paying a possible vesting option of $17.5 million, which would have come into effect had K-Rod finished 55 games in 2011.  With Rodriguez needing just 21 more to reach that plateau, the Brewers would have been reticent in letting him close.  Rodriguez, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, has waived the option in exchange for additional compensation, which according to one source is "not a significant amount."

 K-Rod's vesting option is now a mutual option that kicks in with same 55 games finished threshold. It's meaningless, as he would decline and become a free agent. His buyout increases from $3.5M to $4M, which was the inducement. The Mets are paying the original buyout, while the Brewers will pay the additional amount.  The development is a victory for Rodriguez's new agent, Scott Boras, who only began representing the reliever earlier this month. Had the option vested, the commission on next year's salary would have belonged to Rodriguez's former agents at Wasserman Media Group. Instead, now that Rodriguez will be a free agent, Boras will apparently lay claim to the commission on K-Rod's 2012 earnings.

In an ideal trade both sides would benefit and there would be no losers.  This trade produced multiple winners and multiple losers.  Obvious losers are Peter Kinzer and Francisco Rodriguez who has accepted arbitration from the Brewers when the closer market dried up in early Free Agent signings.  The Mets paid 4.5 of Rodriguez 2011 salary and 3.5 of the buy out but still came up winners by avoiding the 14 M remaining on the  vesting option.  The Brewers got Rodriguez for a half season for 1.5 M.  As almost always the case Boras was a winner since he will earn a commission on what ever Rodriguez is awarded in arbitration.  Was this the first time that Boras wrote a check his azz couldn’t cash?  Here are a couple of other Boras clients;

 2009 Jarrod Washburn 35, coming off a 4 yr 35 M contract with the Mariners was offered a 5 M contract by the Twins for the 2010 season he declined.  Washburn has not pitched since 2009.

Johnny Damon won a world Series with the Yankees in 2009 at the end of his 4 yr 56 M contract.  A contract offer of 2 yrs for 19 M was declined.  Damon played 2010 with the Tigers for 8 M and the Rays in 2011 for 5.3 M


Addendum;  Rodriquez who accepted arbitration from the Brewers agreed to a 1 year contract of 8 M.  That added to the 4 M buyout still falls short of the 17.5 option that Rodriquez had almost locked up with the Mets before Boras entered the picture.  Rodriguez loss is 5.5 M.  Boras gets a piece of the 8 M for 2012. 

 

 

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