History can’t deny that Scott Boras is a great agent. If by great we mean getting the absolute most money for his players regardless of the effect the player’s choice has on:
- The team he leaves behind.
- The team he joins.
- The competitive balance of the game of baseball.
- The respective fan bases affected by player movement.
Yep. Nobody is better than Boras. But apparently the last Major League Baseball collective bargaining agreement (CBA), agreed to by the players and owners, isn’t sitting well with his Uberness. In an interview with FOXSports.com Boras said, “When you have a system that does not reward performance, you know we have something corrupt in the major league process.”
Let’s look at two definitions of corruption— To become morally debased. To cause disintegration or ruin.
A free agent system that takes from the poor and gives to the rich is that morally debased and corrupt? A system that for many years catered to a few big market teams that allowed many small market teams to be pillaged, can that not cause disintegration?
Maybe. But none of those things are corrupt. You can argue unfair, morally wrong perhaps, but not corrupt. The legal system and collective bargaining made it possible. With the strongest union in sports, no professional players on the planet have benefited more than MLB players have from the collective bargaining process.
The new part of the CBA Boras is referring to now permits clubs to make $13.3 million qualifying offers to any of their own free agents who spent the entire 2012 season on the team. If a free agent rejects the offer and signs elsewhere, the new team would have to surrender its top draft pick and the bonus money that would be allocated for the pick.
Wary of losing a pick, the money and having to spend on the free agent, in its first go around, Boras’ client Kyle Lohse appears to have received less of an offer than he would have prior to this new system. Lohse will somehow have to get by on a three year 33 million dollar contract.
Boras is also quoted in the same article as saying, “You cannot have that in the major league system, because it’s not rewarding performance.”
Like the current system that allows past their prime, under-performing, steroid using players to work the market to get huge contracts that many do not live up to, and thus hamstringing teams and fans? Ask NFL players, who can get cut if they’re not performing, or there is a market correction for their services, if they would trade their system for MLB’s.
In this article, Ken Rosenthaul of FOXSports.com acknowledges this aspect of the CBA didn’t work out for the players this year. But, Rosenthaul states it is too soon to judge. I agree. And certainly it is within the player’s rights to attempt to renegotiate it the next time the CBA is up for negotiation.
However, seeing how MLB players have taken the owners to the cleaners in most past negotiations, it is hard for me to get worked up for them over what appears to be a small win for the owners, teams, and fans this go around. I say that because this system may make it a little easier for teams to keep a free agent.
As for Bor-asses’ charge of corruption? It’s ludicrous. There is nothing illegal or coerced about it. It’s not politicians accepting bribes that affect public policy. It’s not Johnny factory worker being passed over for promotion because his boss gave the job to a less qualified friend. It is the byproduct of a CBA negotiated in good faith between millionaires and billionaires who were well represented at the time they signed.
Nobody wants to hear the owners cry after the fact if they’re not happy, and we don’t want to hear Boras cry and make a non-credible corruption charge now. There’s no crying in baseball and baseball negotiations.