Scott Boras has an impressive client list as far as baseball players go. Names like Alex Rodriguez, Prince Fielder and Matt Holliday to give you an idea. Players like him because he gets them the best contracts and years based on current market needs and infamously, like it or not, gets teams to overpay as well.
Yet, it's agents like Boras who have ruined baseball to a degree. Look at the first contract he negotiated with the Texas Rangers and Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod signed the largest contract in baseball history in the leading-into-2001 offseason with the Rangers, a 10-year/$252mm contract. We all know what happened - his contract usurped 2/3 of the payroll, and the struggling Rangers traded him to the Yankees in the going-into-2004 offseason. I'll get back to A-Rod in a minute. He's not the problem here.
The problem here is what Scott Boras represents, not the who. Boras represents the greediness in sports, pricing die-hard fans out of the game simply because they can't afford to pay high ticket prices to watch their heroes.
The drawback of course to all this is overvaluing players. Of course, you all know I am referring to Oliver Perez and his 3-year/$36mm contract. Perez is represented by Boras, as I am sure you are all well-aware. I have made no bones about how high on Oliver Perez I was going in 2007. I had high hopes for him, and it was with good reason, as he won 15 games. In a year that was marred by an epic collapse, Perez's breakout year so to speak was one of the bright spots that we could hold dear to our hearts.
I was pretty much done with Ollie in the going-into-2008 offseason, when he decided to milk the Mets in arbitration. Actually, I take that back. I was almost okay with it, hey he had a family to feed (I'm kidding), but the real issue I had was the fact that Boras wouldn't let the Mets negotiate a contract extension with Perez in 2008. I was done with Ollie then. He broke my heart, much like Fredo broke Michael's in The Godfather II. I knew he wasn't into the game because he loved it...he wanted the cash money millions.
Of course we all know what is going on now. Oliver Perez and the $24mm still owed him whether he sits on the bench or plays every game over the next two years are playing a game of stand-off with the Mets. The Mets want him to take a trip to the minors. Though completely within his rights, he declined. My question is...why? Steve Trachsel once accepted a trip to the minors to clear his head, and he came back a new man.
Besides learning how to, you know, win games, what other incentive is there for Ollie to go? It's once again Boras whispering in his ear about negotiating.
Now the Mets can do one of two things with Perez: outright release him (please?) or return him to the starting ro'. The obviousness of it kills me that Sterling will not release because of the money thing. I don't know what's worse: the fact that Ollie doesn't care whether or not he plays...or the fact that the Wilpons are not committed to winning.
Recently, Dontrelle Willis was released by the Tigers, owed approximately $9 mm for the remainder of this season. Management released a quote, saying they were committed to winning and wished him well, but wanted to go in a different direction. Heck, this is the same team that paid Gary Sheffield $14mm to NOT play for them.
After agreeing to a 5-year/$50mm deal with Gary Matthews Jr., the Angels traded him to the Mets, essentially eating $23.5 mm left on the contract. Again, for him to play on a different team.
Common themes with the above situations? Well, besides the Mets taking the two latter guys on their team (Sheffield was a decent pickup in 2009 -- GMJ...not so much), the teams themselves were COMMITTED TO WINNING. They admitted their mistake. They are not making their fans suffer. They cut the fat and are better for it.
The Mets need to do the same with Oliver Perez. I don't think this has anything to do with money. Sure, approximately $24mm would be a hard mistake to swallow, but releasing him would take balls and a commitment to winning. My theory is this though.
I think it's the relationship with Scott Boras that's clouding the Mets judgment.
Right now, the Mets have three clients of Boras on the team: Carlos Beltran, Mike Pelfrey and Perez. Boras is a sneaky, sly dude. He waited until basically Beltran was being wheeled into surgery to inform the Mets his client was going to be out for a few months. At least, that's the idea we were given. I could be wrong. But it's still kind of sneaky the way they pulled it off with the team being caught with their pants down.
Mike Pelfrey's situation is interesting. He is up for arbitration next year, and two years after (according to Cot's). I wonder if the Mets are treading lightly with Perez in order to preserve their relationship with Boras, so as to not get fucked in the ass when renegotiating with Pelfrey. I'm sure many of you would agree that losing a homegrown talent would suck, regardless of his representation.
Which leads me back to Perez. If Perez gave a shit about anything besides the benjamins, you know he would take his lumps like a man and take a trip to Buffalo. Once again, it's Boras controlling the situation and telling his client not to take it. After all, what does he (meaning Ollie) have to lose by holding out? The worst that can happen is the Mets can cut him, and he can either play in an independent league or sit pretty on a boat somewhere while collecting his millions. Must be nice. Have I mentioned I am funemployed right now? I digress.
My point is, if this is a Boras thing, if this is because the Mets don't want to piss him off so as to further complicate any future dealings, then Boras has the Mets right where he wants them. I hope he gives them the Vaseline first before he fucks them in the ass though.
I mentioned A-Rod before. Here's a guy who is vilified in the press. He has earned millions by sheer talent, yet treats it like a jay-oh-bee. However, he stood up for himself. When Boras announced during the World Series in 2007 that A-Rod was opting out of his contract, reportedly Rodriguez was so mortified that he got an investment bank to negotiate his 10-year/$275 mm contract extension with the Yankees. Word has it that his relationship is strictly superficial with Boras at this point.
It showed me that A-Rod might have been about money, but he did care about the game, about his image and he was committed to winning as much as A-Rod can be anyway. Oh I still can't stand the guy. I'm not defending him by any means.
The point is that Oliver Perez, a far lesser player than A-Rod ever will be, has his agent orchestrating his every move. Now Jerry Manuel, a manager on the hot seat, has to run his team basically with a 24-man roster because of Perez's and Boras's selfishness.
Boras has ruined baseball. And he's indirectly ruining the Mets. I could sit here and call Oliver Perez selfish and that he's a bastard for not accepting a minor league assignment. But let's be fair. This is ALL Scott Boras. And it's not going to change. Therefore the Mets must release Perez if they want this soap opera to end.