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Did Francisco Rodriguez’s old agent really mess up? Or is this just classic Scott Boras?

Jul 14, 2011, 11:13 AM EDT

Francisco Rodriguez Getty Images

Last week Francisco Rodriguez switched agents, going from Paul Kinzer to Scott Boras, and a few days later he was traded to the Brewers.  Today David Waldstein has a report in the New York Times in which he says that Kinzer never submitted a no-trade list to the Mets, with the suggestion that (a) Kinzer screwed up; and (b) the trade to the Brewers had to happen quickly to keep K-Rod from blocking it.

Which, I’m hearing, is kind of misleading.

I’m hearing that there may be a potential dispute about the timing and form of the no-trade list, but that Kinzer submitted one. However, and much more importantly, whether it was good enough to get the job done is a moot point and had no bearing on the trade to Milwaukee, because K-Rod would not have blocked a trade to Milwaukee.  To the contrary, both he and Boras thought Milwaukee was a great destination.  K-Rod made absolutely no objection to the trade when it happened and is eager to go there. Even if there was a no-trade issue, K-Rod has willingly and eagerly waived it.

And of course, given what we’re hearing about how K-Rod may even get to close for the Brewers, one gets the distinct sense that Milwaukee and Boras have something cooking about that big option of his. Because Doug Melvin isn’t suicidal. He would not allow K-Rod to close if it meant $14.5 million bucks next year.  No, Boras and K-Rod are quite pleased about Milwaukee and are likely finding that they can work quite well with the Brewers. With “well” meaning, K-Rod gets to pump up his closer stats and hit free agency this winter without fear of his old contract keeping him down.  An old contract, by the way, that would have meant a commission to Kinzer, not Boras, if it were triggered.

So why might Waldstein’s report have the swipe at Kinzer in it?  This is just speculation on my part, but Kinzer and Boras are heavy competitors. If you had a chance to kick a little dirt on a competitor, would you take the opportunity, even if there was no effective substance to the charge?  Wait — don’t answer that.  Just answer whether you think Scott Boras would.

  1. b7p19 - Jul 14, 2011 at 11:25 AM

    Oh no, Craig you have officially made it to the big time. You’re blog is getting spam….

  2. thumbsjohnson - Jul 14, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    The Brewers should just roll a 2 headed monster. Using whichever “closer” they feel best fits the situation (even if that is in the 7th or 8th)…then unleash the second option in the 9th.

    As long as they do have something worked out for K-Rod’s contract kicker.

  3. scottj27 - Jul 14, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    $17.5M Craig. Yes, it’s that bad: http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2005/01/milwaukee-brewers.html

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Jul 14, 2011 at 11:31 AM

      I imagine he was subtracting the buyout if the option doesn’t vest, but that should be $14 million total. Unless he’s doing further math based on the amount of money that the Mets sent to the Brewers.

  4. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 14, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    “Scott Bor-Ass would…”

    You could end that sentence with any words and it wouldn’t surprise me.

    • Charles Gates - Jul 14, 2011 at 12:02 PM

      Why the Boras hate? The man is damn good at his job (even considering how he botched Johnny Damon’s last contract). His track record for getting deals *cough*Werth*cough* is amazing.

      Tell me this: If you could have someone represent you for your next job performance appraisal/raise negotiation, who would it be?
      Correct answer: Scott Boras

      • Craig Calcaterra - Jul 14, 2011 at 12:03 PM

        Just because someone is good at his job doesn’t make him a good person. In fact, there is very little correlation between those two things at all.

      • FC - Jul 14, 2011 at 12:15 PM

        One could argue that man has damaged many a franchise by making them overspend on players not particularly Werth-y.

        I guess as the MLB pie grows (and it has grown by a lot in the last 10 years) the players will definitely want their fair slice. League payroll and other developments convince me the revenue distribution is seriously out of wonk and this man is doing a lot of the wonking.

      • Charles Gates - Jul 14, 2011 at 12:22 PM

        Making the franchise spend money on players? This is akin to blaming McDonalds for obesity.
        League payroll and other developments convince me the revenue distribution is seriously out of wonk and this man is doing a lot of the wonking.
        Are you arguing that the owners should be pocketing more of the revenue?

      • FC - Jul 14, 2011 at 12:24 PM

        Are you seriously trying to argue or you just trying to poo-poo people criticizing Scott Boras?Your mind is obviously already made up so I’m not sure why you are responding.

      • Charles Gates - Jul 14, 2011 at 12:34 PM

        Not argue, but understand the anti-Boras sentiment.
        It seems as if people are taking shots at him for doing his job well. One may not like his tactics (above instance of questionable ethics not withstanding), but those are the same tactics that they would demand if Boras was representing them. I just want to understand the disconnect.

      • FC - Jul 14, 2011 at 1:02 PM

        For the last 20 years Boras has driven the market for players up, and up, and up. He’s been involved in more record-breaking contracts than probably all other baseball agents combined. And yes the tactics have been questionable, so much so the MLB has amended many a rule just to cover holes found by Boras, not because Boras was trying to right a wrong or correct some injustice for his client, merely to exploit the system and get the maximum benefit. As an agent I guess that’s what you expect, but it makes baseball far more mercenary and that’s not the Baseball many fans like.

        What may be best for his clients is not necessarily the best for the team and its fans. The McDonald analogy is off by a mile, because the money will get spent anyway. Boras will play teams against one another. And a franchise favorite player may end up getting more money than he’s really worth because you have the Red Sox and Yankees or whoever who will gladly swoop and pay that player the mega-millions Boras is demanding. This reduces payroll flexibility teams may end up shooting themselves in overspending on a specific player and under-spending in other areas of need.

        Boras emphasizes the individual. But baseball is team sport and the fans support the team first and foremost. They want players to get their fair share but anything above perceived market value makes the fans upset because they see the player as greedy when he’s already earning millions of $$. There’s a severe disconnect because a fan won’t ever earn even a 10th of that kind of money so they ask: Jeez, do you really need 20 MM a year? Can’t you be happy with 17 MM? The team could use that extra 3 MM to get that quality middle relief guy we’re missing. And if the team balks they may lose a productive player or fan favorite to a higher bidder.

        That’s why Halladay was so beloved in Toronto. He frequently signed under market value to help the team clear payroll to get better players. The Jays never got it together but that’s not his fault and after a long time Halladay decided he would seek a contender but still wanted the trade to be fair and even took a page long ad on the toronto newspaper thanking the city and the organization.

        I have to wonder if the record-breaking deal Holliday (St. Louis) signed is going to be rued. Scott Boras engineered that one, and many a fan has screamed his headoff when Holliday under-performed. That’s because they perceive the cardinals paid above market value for him. And some are wondering if that’s going to the big reason Pujols leaves St. Louis this year because now St. Louis won’t be able to affor Pujols and Holliday without possibly gutting the future of the team. Speculation of course.

        Boras foments the culture of the mercenary baseball player. In the movie Major League II one of the antagonists is the free agent Jack Parkman who has extraordinary talent but at the end of the day is all about the $$$$. There’s a REASON that kind of guy is viewed as a BAD guy.

        The distribution I speak of is that this attitude engenders a rich get richer dynamic and poor stay poor dynamic. It’s compensated somewhat by revenue sharing and the draft but it’s nowhere near as competitive as Bud Selig would have us believe. He’s all about how different teams have made the WS. News flash Bud the big reason for that is that post-season tends to be a crapshoot. Not necessarily the best team will win the WS. A far better indicator is league standings year in year out. When was the last time you saw KC end higher than 3rd? Or Baltimore? When was the last time the Yankees were dead last?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 14, 2011 at 1:59 PM

        Charles, quite simply ever since he and A-Rod upstaged the World Series to opt out of his contract so that Bor-ass could get a cut of the new contract, Bor-ass is a piece of crap and always will be in my eyes.

      • jimbo1949 - Jul 14, 2011 at 2:10 PM

        FC, good argument until you referenced Major League 2.

        .
        EPIC FAIL

  5. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 14, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    I posted this in another thread but it applies here too I guess. Since the brewers made the trade and since they have the guy why not make him happy and extend him. I think a fair win-win would be 3 years and $33 million with the dissolution of the option. This would really make it 3 years and 29.5 million which is very fair for both sides in my opinion. And they avoid all this games finished nonsense during a pennant race.

  6. cerveceros82 - Jul 14, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    Hey Craig, just curious where you were hearing that K-Rod and Boras thought MKE as an excellent destination. Haudricourt is now reporting that the Brewers were in fact one of the 10 teams listed on the not submitted no trade list.

  7. sportsfreak61787 - Jul 14, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    So remind me again on how he got traded there if they were in fact part of.the no trade clause

    • cerveceros82 - Jul 14, 2011 at 7:16 PM

      Clerical error. The story goes that his previous agent had never submitted the paperwork notifying the club.

  8. gammagammahey - Jul 14, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/mets/post/_/id/29316/gm-k-rod-agent-never-filed-no-trade-list

    Looks like K-Rod’s old agent really did mess up that bad.

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