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Scott Boras explains the Jayson Werth contract

Feb 3, 2011, 12:02 PM EDT

Boras thinking

This is classic. Scott Boras was on Sirius/XM with Jim Bowden yesterday and the subject of Jayson Werth‘s gigantic contract came up.  Bowden — as is his admirable wont — cut through the courtesy stuff and simply told Boras “I just can’t believe you pulled that off.”

Boras, however, gave a long and seemingly thoughtful explanation as to how the Jayson Werth deal fit into the greater theory of Nationals baseballology. Or something:

“So, in doing that, and evaluating that, you have to say, ‘Is that player going to provide something to the franchise in addition to his performance?’ And I think this is where we look at major free agent signings, particularly with franchises like Washington, that in addition to the performance the player brings, which would probably be 23 to 25 HR’s, 90, 95 RBI’s, in addition to that, we have someone now that allows Bryce Harper’s arrival in the major leagues to be something that is more a function of his performance rather than a need to make sure the fanbase knows that we’re taking the next step. We also know that from the standpoint of attracting free agent pitchers, or attracting a closer, or attracting any other free agents, that we have an ownership that is now embedded in the market place as someone who is a destination that they know the ownership is committed…

“So, in addition to growing for the player’s performance, the brand in Washington is now a different brand. It is now an acknowledged brand. Their fans know it. Other players know it. And it provides a brand value to the franchise that did not exist prior to Jayson Werth signing.”

I don’t know about you, but I was in a trance by the third sentence, and I’m a trained baloney-detector.  The Nats’ brass likely had no hope in resisting.  That is, if they even realized what was going on.  Indeed, they probably woke up, saw Boras’ last demand and had some vague but urgent sense that they had to give Werth $126 million. Like this guy.

  1. pisano - Feb 3, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    If Scotts lips are moving, he’s lying.

    • spudchukar - Feb 3, 2011 at 12:24 PM

      Lying? How crass. Exploring the multiple dimensions of truthiness, perhaps and exploring a variety of reality based assumptions hardly rises to the level of prevarication.

  2. dodger88 - Feb 3, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    That’s a lot of money for ” 23 to 25 HR’s, 90, 95 RBI’s” as Boras himself states.

  3. BC - Feb 3, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    I still can’t believe this contract. They sign the 3rd or 4th best position player on the Phillies to that deal?

    • bloodysock - Feb 3, 2011 at 12:34 PM

      My thought as well

    • Kevin S. - Feb 3, 2011 at 4:24 PM

      Say what? The only Phillie position player better than Werth is Utley, and that’s when healthy.

  4. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Feb 3, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    Whoa, I never considered that Boras and Co. likely use inception as a means to land big contracts. Everything is becoming clearer, unless that damn top doesn’t fall over…then I’m more lost than when the story began.

  5. larryhockett - Feb 3, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    It actually makes sense to me. Washington is not a desirable destination right now. In order for it to become a desirable destination, it has to acquire better players and appear committed to winning. In order to get the first guy to go there and start that process, you have to overpay. And that’s exactly what Scott Boras sold them on and I don’t doubt for a minute that the Nationals’ brass had any misunderstanding about it.

  6. Jonny 5 - Feb 3, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    Wow, I must have been out cold for a half hour after reading that…. I have the strong urge to hand Jayson Werth money for some odd reason….. Is that enough? Maybe a blank check would be more sufficient, then I’ll play in traffic for awhile. Yeah.

  7. bigharold - Feb 3, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    Everybody loves to hate Boras but I don’t get it. If he’s the snake everybody perceives him to be, .. I mean it’s not like it’s a great big secret .., then explain how he get the contracts he gets for his clients.

    If a GM is a “boy genius” like Epstein how does Boras get him to pony up 14-15 mil a year for JD Drew? How does he get Cashman to out bid himself on Damon? It’s not like some hustler wandered into the school yard and took a bunch of middle schooler’s for their lunch money. He’s up against educated experienced professional who are not or aleast should not be defenseless. He does was he does so well for two reasons; 1. He has the talent, the FA, the raw material. It’s like the commodities market, if a team needs a particular FA bad he knows it he will drive up the price. But guess what, that is his JOB! 2. Because what he says is, in large part true, sort of. For instance in the Damon case everybody thought that Damon would burn out long before his Yankee contract expired but that wasn’t the case at all. With Werth, he’s right the Nationals need to prove that they are for real if they are going to get other FA to seriously consider them as an option. That being said, I still think that the Nats way over paid, .. but he was on to something.

    People that think he’s a liar or that he’s not reputable are missing the point completely. He’s not paid to be an impartial judge he’s paid to advocate for his client and clearly he’s very good at it. He’s supposedly dealing with professional that are on his level. Not just GM but owners that in most cases very successful businessman in the first place. If they were that easily hoodwinked then woes be them. If the GM of your favorite team over pays for a client then rather than hate the agent demand the GM be fired for incompetence. Blaming it all on an agent or specifically Boras is naïve and demonstrates a complete lack of the basics of sports as a business.

    There are four thing that are indisputable when it comes to Scott Boras; 1. He’s very good at what he does. 2. Most players would love to have him as an agent. 3. His reputation isn’t a secret. 4. If I were looking for someone to represent me he’d be at the top of the list.

    • larryhockett - Feb 3, 2011 at 12:47 PM

      Spot on.

    • Jonny 5 - Feb 3, 2011 at 1:16 PM

      Just for the record I have no disdain for Boras or any other snake charmers in general..

  8. icanspeel - Feb 3, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    So basically he is saying that signing Werth to that much opens the doors for other overrated stars to get big contracts from the Nationals in the future too right?

  9. schmedley69 - Feb 3, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Jim Bowden and Scott Boras. Greasy and Greasier. I wonder if they both tried to fleece each other after the interview?

  10. Chris Fiorentino - Feb 3, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    i agree that GMs are stupid for dealing with the guy and allowing themselves to be snookered. But before you say that he gets the most talent, remember that the 2010 World Series Champion(ugh) Giants only had one Bor-ass client and he just happens to be THE most overpaid player in baseball, Mr. Barry Zito. I have a sneaky suspicion that Jayson Werth will be joining Zito on that list pretty quick.

    • bigharold - Feb 3, 2011 at 2:38 PM

      That completely negates the fact that Boras already has a reputation of over selling his clients. It’s like strinking out facing a fastball pitcher and saying you were suprized that he kept throwing you fastballs.It also ignores that the team is the one making the offer or at the very least accepting a counter offer. No horse heads in the bed or “offers you can’t refuse” are involved. The GMs sole responsibility is to sign players for what they think the player is worth.

      Boras is supposed to be an advocate for the player. By definition he’s suppose to get as much as is possible for his client. It’s beyond comprehension that supposedly knowledgeable baseball fans would hold that against him. IT’S HIS JOB!!

      If a GM isn’t smart enough to know where to draw the line on a player than perhaps he’s in the wrong job.

  11. drunkenhooliganism - Feb 3, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    Overpay for past their prime borderline stars, that sounds exactly like the tack that the 99 Devil Rays used. based on that, the Nats should make the playoffs in 9 more years. That is some serious long-term strategery.

  12. umrguy42 - Feb 3, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    “Ladies and gentlemen of the supposed jury… this is Chewbacca.”

    *head explodes*

    Trance is about right, Craig. I mean, there were words there, but, well, there was no THERE there to understand…

    “It does NOT MAKE SENSE!”

  13. byjiminy - Feb 3, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    summary of what Boras said:

    I admit it, he’s nowhere near worth the money

  14. dasher521 - Feb 4, 2011 at 9:05 AM

    Pete Rose said it best (I paraphrase), “Ain’t nobody puttin’ no gun to no owner’s head.”

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