08.28.08

Boras, Bucs Squabble Over Alvarez Non-Deal

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 7:59 pm by

“The Pirates understood Pedro Alvarez was a high-profile player with a high-profile agent in Scott Boras, and likely knew it wouldn’t be easy to negotiate early,” writes MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo.  What Pittsburgh might not have realized is Boras would eventually dispute the validity of the Vanderbilt 3B’s deadline signing. Writes the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gene Collier, “this whole mess is classic Boras.”

By now you’re likely painfully aware that Alvarez, who apparently had agreed to a contract with a $6 million signing bonus at or near the last possible minute Aug. 15, has gotten word to the Pirates through uber agent Scott Boras that such an agreement was not completed on time and that perhaps only some additional funding can rectify the situation.

On one level, it’s astounding that Boras, a lawyer, and Pirates president Frank Coonelly, another lawyer, could bring a $6 million negotiation to a head without one or both of them knowing what time it is.

“We are good at deadlines,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said in the first few minutes of Aug. 16.

Hold your tickets on that.

It apparently just wasn’t enough for “El Toro” that the Pirates agreed to pay him not only $6 million on speculation, but the balance of the young man’s college tuition.

Yeah, a lot of people with $6 million in their pockets are wondering where those last 34 credit hours are supposed to come from. Tuition and fees plus room and board at Vandy is running about $46,724, so when he gets around to it I’d encourage the fledgling economics student to register for Econ 220, which discusses labor law and history, and in which he might have discovered that median household income for 2007 in this country was $56,545. You’d presume that a 21-year-old whose dad’s been driving a cab to help support the family in New York could put somebody’s interests ahead of his agent’s.

I’m a little curious why the P-G scribe is so cavalier over the notion a deadline might not have been met.  If for instance, the Pirates could complete the signing at their leisure, that takes considerable leverage out of Boras’ hands.

I’m not sure when was the last time Mr. Collier was the one holding the hammer in a negotiation for his personal services, but when and if it happens, I’m sure he’ll be thinking purely in terms of what’s best for his prospective employers.

3 Responses to “Boras, Bucs Squabble Over Alvarez Non-Deal”

  1. andrew says:

    From the looks of the picture Boras is WAY too into Kraftwerk right now.

  2. glenzo says:

    Gerard, are you saying you buy Boras’ claim the contract was not timely? I’m more in line with the front office assessment that it smells of “classic Boras.”

    Yes, Boras’ role is to advocate the best interests of his clients, but his definition of those interests seems to extend no further than money, which ironically is the piece that aligns with *his* interests.

    Honestly, I can’t figure out why more teams haven’t thrown up their hands and refused to deal with him. Oh yeah, because *that* would be collusion.

  3. GC says:

    I’d like to see an investigation of the claim as opposed to the columnist in this case, clearly siding with Pirates ownership. Maybe such investigations aren’t Collier’s job, but neither is carrying water for the local baseball club.

    I’m no fan of Scott Boras but if the Pirates left him with a loophole to exploit, that’s their screwup. Other clubs somehow managed to sign Boras clients prior to this year’s deadline. Is the Pittsburgh franchise doing so well that they can afford to waste a top draft pick?

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