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Scott Boras and Ruben Amaro Jr. disagree about why Ryan Madson didn’t re-sign with the Phillies

Jan 11, 2012, 3:21 PM EDT

Ryan Madson Getty Images

Shortly after the start of free agency multiple sources reported that Ryan Madson and the Phillies had agreed to a four-year, $44 million contract, but that deal fell through and Philadelphia quickly signed Jonathan Papelbon to a four-year, $50 million deal instead.

Now two months later Madson settled for a one-year, $8.5 million deal with the Reds and today agent Scott Boras shared his side of the Madson/Phillies story with Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com:

It’s very simple. We never rejected any offer from Philadelphia at four years and $44 million. We advised Philadelphia that we would agree to such a proposal. And Philadelphia decided upon hearing that to go in a different direction. We agreed to a four-year, $44 million offer, and Philadelphia decided to sign someone else.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has a much different view of how things played out:

There’s no reason for me to get into a public debate with Scott on this. I have no desire to do that. All I can tell you is, there was never an agreement, and we decided that we wanted to sign someone with the experience and the ability of Jonathan Papelbon. So we went that route. There’s no question we had discussions with Ryan about bringing him back. We had several discussions about it. But no agreement was made. If we had come to an agreement, we would have signed him.

Obviously something unusual happened at some point in the negotiations, but for Boras to claim that the two sides had an agreement seems like a stretch, if only because he hasn’t filed any sort of grievance on behalf a client who’s out more than $30 million. If he truly believed that Amaro and the Phillies backed out of an agreed upon contract worth $44 million, why wouldn’t Boras have raised hell?

Of course, while the situation is unfortunate for Madson it’s very fortunate for the Reds, who get a top-notch reliever for a one-year commitment while guys like Papelbon, Heath Bell, and Joe Nathan got multi-year deals. Heck, even Frank Francisco got two years and $12 million from the Mets.

And while Amaro might look smart for avoiding a $44 million commitment to Madson considering how the 31-year-old right-hander’s market played out, the fact that he gave $50 million to Papelbon in a market flush with quality closers sort of makes that tough to praise.

Going forward, it’ll be interesting to see if Boras’ disagreement with Amaro makes his clients less likely to wind up in Philadelphia. If the money is right, probably not.

  1. phillieschamps2012 - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Scott Boras is a lying bastard. They never had an agreement with Ruben Amaro. Amaro didn’t want Madson back, plain and simple. They knew Papelbon was the better closer and signed him. Period. End of story. They also know that Papelbon has huge stones and can close games in a pressure cooker like Philly.

    Papelbon > Madson, for those of you that like equations.

    • heynerdlinger - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      c.f. Red Sox at Baltimore 9/28/2011

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BAL/BAL201109280.shtml

      • natstowngreg - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:41 PM

        IMHO, it’s unfair to focus on only one save situation. Mariano Rivera had some historic blown saves (2001 World Series, 2004 ALCS).

      • bloodysock - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:45 PM

        Also see:

        October 10, 2009 – Down 6-4 in the 9th, the Angels rallied, scoring three runs off of Jonathan Papelbon to advance to the ALCS

    • Kyle - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:40 PM

      Yep, totally 3 years and $40 million greater.

    • thekcubrats - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:50 PM

      Uh, kids? Parse that quote from Boras. Some of you think he’s saying Phils offered him that ridic $11 x 4 and then withdrew it. But: “We advised Philadelphia that we would agree to such a proposal.” Get it? Boras tried to shove that shovelful at Phils and they demured. For good reason. He’s not exactly lying about it now, since the truth is in there if one cares to comb through the lawyerly obfuscation. But heck, wanna call him a liar? I’m okay with that.

      Of course, for Phils to pretend they had good reason to pop Pape for $50M over any timeframe… what a bunch of maroons. Ludicrous lucre.

      • paperlions - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:04 PM

        Yep, that’s how I read it. Boras said they would sign for $44M and the Phillies decided to sign someone else. I think the “we” in those statements is him and his client, not he and the Phillies.

      • phillieschamps2012 - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:17 PM

        Bunch of maroons? Really. Yeah, say that when we are hoisting the 2012 World Series trophy.

      • natstowngreg - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:35 PM

        You sure that, after all that hoisting of the Phillies’ 2011 World Series trophy, you won’t be too tired to hoist the Phillies’ 2012 World Series trophy?

        Funny thing about fans who assume their team will win the chanpionship. They’re often wrong.

    • kellyb9 - Jan 12, 2012 at 9:46 AM

      If you believe what Boras is selling, then the Phillies apparently didn’t think that Madson was worth it, and for roughly the same price, went with a more proven commoditiy. I’m sure if Boras was more reasonable and didn’t completely oversell his clients, Madson might be getting ready to make the trip down to clearwater.

    • phillysoulfan - Jan 12, 2012 at 10:04 AM

      So I guess Ryan Madson didn’t have 30+ saves last season in a pressure cooker like Philadelphia? That was my imagination?

  2. phillieschamps2012 - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Another thing. How dare Scott Boras try and sully the great name of Ruben Amaro! This man is a disgrace to all that is holy. He thought he was going to get a payday with Madson, realized that Madson wasn’t worth that much on the open market, and has resorted to spreading lies. This man is a disgrace.

    • natstowngreg - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:54 PM

      Actually, both are being diplomatic. It’s not in either man’s interest to burn his bridge with the other.

      Don’t think either is lying, but both have cleverly left out critical facts. Ex., did Amaro ever actually offer 4/$40 million? Boras says he said, we’ll accept 4/$40 million. But did those numbers come from Amaro — or Boras? Also, did Amaro have any intention of signing Madson as a closer? $10 million (if actually offered) is awfully steep for an 8th-inning guy).

      I suspect there’s a very interesting story, with miscommunication and miscalculation on both sides. Hopefully, some day some writer will be able to dig it up.

      • dadawg77 - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:25 PM

        Also there might have been feelers sent out by the Phillies and not an official offer. Phillies seeing what it would take for Madson and decided to give an offer to Pap instead.

      • cur68 - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:32 PM

        I don’t quite see it that way, Greg. Boras didn’t say it was offered. He said “we’ll accept that”. I think he means him and Madson handed RAJ a figure, not the other way around. RAJ just signed someone else rather than accept Boras’ figure for Madson.

      • natstowngreg - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:29 PM

        Actually cur, I think we’re agreeing.

        Boras’ comment leaves it vague, on purpose. But it’s easy to interpret his comments the way you have — so did I. Meanwhile, Amaro declined to confirm anything. My point is, we just don’t know for sure.

    • cur68 - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:50 PM

      Yep. Just agent & GM doublespeak for “its not MY fault but here’s a name you might consider for faultiness…”

    • phillyphreak - Jan 11, 2012 at 9:47 PM

      Ok I can’t honestly take anything this poster says as real. This has to be some sort of really lame joke that he’s playing on everyone.

  3. Detroit Michael - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    The Boras quote from this blog post does not say that Amaro accepted Boras’ $44M offer for four years. I don’t see a discrepancy (based on the quotes excerpted above) between what the two sides are saying.

    • phillieschamps2012 - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:50 PM

      Because Amaro and the Phillies accepted nothing. If they did, a contract would have been drawn up and Madson would be a Phillie now.

      Scott Boras is talking crap because he didn’t get a long-term deal for his client and is feeling vindictive. If I were the Phillies, I wouldn’t deal with this guy ever again. Why put up with this shit from an agent. Screw him.

      • Detroit Michael - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:58 PM

        I don’t think you understood my comment. In the quote from Boras above, which sentence is a lie? Which sentence contradicts what Amaro is saying? I don’t see any that do.

        Both Boras and Amaro seem to be saying that the two sides never arrived at a deal.

      • phillieschamps2012 - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:03 PM

        Read between the lines:

        “It’s very simple. We never rejected any offer from Philadelphia at four years and $44 million. We advised Philadelphia that we would agree to such a proposal.”

        Boras is basically stating that the Phillies offered this deal, they agreed to it, and the Phillies pulled it off the table. Amaro is stating that there was never an agreement. Boras is lying.

      • Detroit Michael - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:09 PM

        If you’re going to accuse someone of lying and talking crap, you have to look at the actual quote, not guess what the guy might have meant between the lines and not base your opinion on Gleeman’s editorializing.

        According to Boras, the negotiations went something like:
        Scott: “I am advising you that Madson would agree to four years at $44M.”
        Ruben: “Now that I heard that, the Phillies are going to go in an different direction.”
        That is not inconsistent with Amaro’s account.

      • phillieschamps2012 - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        Detroit Mike, we will agree to disagree on how we both read into the quotes. I see what Boras is trying to do. If Boras was a standup guy, he would not even be discussing his conversations with the Phillies to the media. But, alas, not. Why? Because he’s a punk.

      • Detroit Michael - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:25 PM

        You’re letting your other opinions of Boras cloud your judgment, in my opinion. (To be clear, Boras probably has lied before — I’m trying to not be naive here — but I’m talking about the quotes from this incident.)

        Both Boras and Amaro spoke on the record to Jerry Crasnick. Yet you call Boras a punk and a disgrace and you call Amaro a great name.

        It still seems to me if one is going to accuse Boras of lying, you have to be able to assert which sentence was an intentional falsehood. That didn’t happen here.

        If you reread the Boras quote, keep in mind that “offer” does definitely not mean agreement to an agent with a law degree like Boras. He didn’t say that they had a deal or even a tentative deal with the Phillies.

      • stex52 - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:01 PM

        It’s pretty clear to me. Boras told Amaro they would accept 4/44. Amaro wasn’t interested.

        No lying involved. And believe me, I am no Boras fan.

    • foreverchipper10 - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:36 PM

      I also agree with Detroit Michael and it seems from comments above that other people interpreted it that way as well. Philschump, you need to simply listen to other interpretations rather than shove your own Phillies-holier-than-thou crap down everyones throat. It is evident in every comment you leave on every thread that the Phills can do and have never done anything wrong.

  4. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Tomato, tah-mato, let’s call the whole thing off.

  5. muckthefets23 - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    In the end we all know that boras is a scumbag liar and that the phillies/Ruben made the best decision for the club in signing papelbon. It really boggles my mind why anyone trusts or does business with Boras. Oh well, guess we just sit back and watch him screw Prince Fielder now.

  6. El Bravo - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Seriously, how did bicepts get back on here? [sharpening talons]

    • The Rabbit - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:15 PM

      No sh*t. He couldn’t possibly have an evil twin.

  7. phillyphever - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Poll question: who would you take in a steel cage fight between Amaro and Borass.

    Thumbs up for Amaro
    Thumbs down for Borass

  8. drunkenhooliganism - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Boras=Truth
    Olly Perez=Sandy Koufax

  9. drunkenhooliganism - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Boras has to do something to save face if he’s overestimated the market for Madson and Fielder as bad as it appears that he has. He plays brinksmanship every year with the general managers and he’s screwed over Madson and Johnny Damon (I think he was his agent) and apparently Prince Fielder.

    • dan1111 - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:32 AM

      It’s hard to say that Boras has “screwed over” players, because we don’t know what options were truly available. We also don’t know what conditions the players themselves set. He works for the players, after all. It may be his client says “I won’t accept less than $30 million” or “I refuse to play for team X” or “I would rather take a risk and look for a higher deal.” Ultimately, he is just an adviser, and the players are the decision makers. Presumably, he informs them of all the possibilities and risks involved.

  10. snowbirdgothic - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    I seem to recall Boras once made a statement to the effect that the veterans in the Phillies’ clubhouse were 100% behind J.D. Drew’s holdout. As you can imagine, that one went over real well.

  11. timasahh - Jan 11, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    I may not know what I’m talking about here, but from from Boras’ stand-point I think it makes sense that he’s saying they came to an agreement. By holding to that statement, it gave him leverage throughout the negotiation process with other teams while closer was still a high need for a number of clubs, and it gives him a reason now as to why he didn’t get an offer done sooner. Namely, he didn’t want to get something worse for his client than what had already been “offered” while the stove was still hot. Unfortunately for him he let the coals burn out.

    It also makes sense for RAJ to say there wasn’t an offer on the table, as it helps to save face with a fanbase who is probably still scratching their heads a bit as to why the Phillies didn’t sign a likeable hometown guy who has put up solid numbers for the past couple of years to a cheaper price. Who knows how it all really went down? But it’s hard to say who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. The answer is probably somewhere in between these two takes on the matter.

    • dan1111 - Jan 12, 2012 at 3:37 AM

      Under your scenario, why would Amaro want to suggest that there was no offer on the table? Wouldn’t it look better to the fans if he claimed “I made Madson a big offer, but he didn’t want to stay”?

      There isn’t really a “somewhere in between” option, as there either was an offer, or there wasn’t.

  12. schmedley69 - Jan 11, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Why would Amaro agree to the deal and then back out? It makes no sense. More than likely Boras floated the $44 million number to Amaro and then leaked it to the press, insinuating that it was a done deal, trying to put pressure on Amaro, but Amaro called his bluff. Boras is a notorious sleazebag. After the Phillies drafted J.D. Drew, Boras had Drew refuse to accept delivery of the Phillies offer to his house, and then tried to have Drew declared a free agent on the basis that the Phillies didn’t offer him a contract by the specified deadline. Anyone who believes a word that comes out of Scott Boras’ mouth is a sucker.

  13. mojosmagic - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    The sucker in all this is Ryan Madson because he hired Boros in the first place. Now except you fate, hope for a good year, stay healthy, and fire Boros.

  14. dasher521 - Jan 12, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    Make no mistake, Scott Boros is very good at what he does. He makes a lot of money for himself by creating illusions and selling over valued players. What they players should learn is that agents work for them. The players need to clearly express their wishes to their agents. The players are under pressure from the agents and their union to sign for the greatest amount of money, no matter where that might be. I think Jimmy Rollins probably told his agent to him the most amount of money and length of contract the agent could, but the bottom line was,” Keep me in Philadelphia”.

  15. phillysoulfan - Jan 12, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    I think it’s safe to say Amaro never made an offer. Look at the quote form Boras

    “It’s very simple. We never rejected any offer from Philadelphia at four years and $44 million. We advised Philadelphia that we would agree to such a proposal. And Philadelphia decided upon hearing that to go in a different direction. We agreed to a four-year, $44 million offer, and Philadelphia decided to sign someone else.”

    “…We ADVISED Philadelphia that we WOULD agree to such a proposal….”

    Here I am thinking that Boras said to Amaro that it would take 4/44 to sign Madson. But then he contradicts himself two sentences later

    “…We AGREED to a four-year, $44 million offer, and Philadelphia decided to sign someone else…”

    This quote is saying that he had an agreement with Amaro. Makes no sense to say we if not between Boras and Amaro.

    Now if you take the contradictions along with the fact, as Craig pointed out, that Boras took no actions against the Phillies, I’d say Boras was lying out his ass and trying to save face with his clients and potential clients.

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