Did Boras Fail Damon, Washburn, & Lopez?

Last offseason, the Scott Boras Corporation brokered approximately $341MM worth of free agent deals.  It was a strong showing, with three of the four big-money contracts already looking regrettable (Derek Lowe, Manny Ramirez, and Oliver Perez).

This time around, Boras will not reach even half of last year's total.  That fact doesn't necessarily reflect on Boras' abilities as an agent, and he did find favorable contracts for Matt Holliday, Mike Gonzalez, Adrian Beltre, Ivan Rodriguez, and Alex Cora in a down market.  But we must ask: did Boras clients Johnny DamonJarrod Washburn, and Felipe Lopez get screwed?

ESPN's Buster Olney suggested that in November, the Yankees discussed internally the idea of approaching Bobby Abreu's two-year, $19MM extension with Damon.  Boras always aims high in November contract discussions, but the superagent read the market poorly this time.  It appears that, more than once, Damon turned down his best offseason offers from his preferred team.  Most likely, Damon will ultimately accept an offer inferior to the contracts signed by Mike Cameron, Marlon Byrd, Hideki Matsui, and Coco Crisp.

In early January, the Twins reportedly offered Washburn a one-year, $5MM deal.  Though the Twins are on the lefty's short list, he turned it down.  Maybe the Twins or Mariners will still sign him at a lower price.  Perhaps Washburn would've enjoyed playing for the Brewers in his home state, but they signed a similar pitcher in Doug Davis for $5.25MM on January 10th.  According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, Washburn might even be considering retirement at this point.

Since Damon, Washburn, and Lopez remain unsigned, we can't label Boras a failure with these three clients quite yet.  However, they'll likely illustrate cases where Boras' long-standing strategies of ridiculous initial demands and signing late cost his clients millions.


136 Responses to Did Boras Fail Damon, Washburn, & Lopez? Leave a Reply

  1. gs01 5 years ago

    I think the problem with Damon is that the Yankees overpaid him like they do with all of their free agents so in his mind he actually thinks he’s worth that much.

    • RiverKKiller999 5 years ago

      Yeah you’re exactly right.

    • I’m pretty sure that if you look up how much Damon was worth, you will see he was worth the whole contract.

      • stymeedone 5 years ago

        But keep in mind, the key word is “was”.

      • jkrell13 5 years ago

        not according to fangraphs. for the duration of the previous contract, his market value was 39.6 MM while the contract paid 42.0 MM

        • redsandyanksfan 5 years ago

          so your going to whine about 2.4 million? c’mon now he lived up to his contract

          • Hannibal_Lester 5 years ago

            his contract with the Yanks was actually 4-yr, $52M, so it’s 13+ Mill more than he was worth

          • ElWaldorf 5 years ago

            yea thats just enough to whine about.

          • redsandyanksfan 5 years ago

            alright that is true the guy above me got it wrong but still damon was worth the contract in any aspect i would overpay him then say wells soriano or Matthew’s jr who was signed in his free agency would you rather over pay damon by 13 million or matthews by 50 million? or anybody else from that group

          • jflaherty 5 years ago

            Actually, the math was wrong on both sides as Damon was worth $49.6M with the Yankees.

          • jflaherty 5 years ago

            Actually, the math was wrong on both sides as Damon was worth $49.6M with the Yankees.

          • redsandyanksfan 5 years ago

            alright that is true the guy above me got it wrong but still damon was worth the contract in any aspect i would overpay him then say wells soriano or Matthew’s jr who was signed in his free agency would you rather over pay damon by 13 million or matthews by 50 million? or anybody else from that group

    • Really? There’s an unacceptable price tag for World Series rings?

    • Really? There’s an unacceptable price tag for World Series rings?

  2. YES. All three will only see a fraction of what they were holding out for. The damon situation is just a tragedy. Washburn was flat out STUPID for turning down a 5 million dollar guaranteed contract from the Twins. Dumb dumb dumb, but the twins dodged a bullet when he said no cuz now they have Orlando Hudson instead. Way to go scotty!

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      The Twins dodged a bullet simply to not have Washburn on their team. Signing Hudson is just icing on that already wonderful cake. Thank God we didn’t end up with Washburn.

      (I assume that he’ll sign in MN within minutes of me posting this now, while the universe and karma laugh in my face.)

      • Holy_Roman_Emperor 5 years ago

        LaRoche was even dumber for turning down 17 mil from the Giants. Who did he think he was??? Teixeria???

      • 0vercast 5 years ago

        I sure hope you’re wrong!

        Even offering Washburn a contract was a big mistake, period. I say, let Liriano, Perkins, and Duensing fight for the lefty spot in the rotation. I bet Liriaro takes it w/o much debate after last years reality check and now that he should be FULLY recovered from Tommy John. All 3 Southpaws are still young. Maybe the challenge will bring out the best in them.

        Swarzak is still in the mix as well so there’s plenty of depth as well.

    • monroe_says
      monroe_says 5 years ago

      “The damon situation is just a tragedy.”

      What an interesting definition of tragedy. “Comedy” seems more like it.

    • Infield Fly 5 years ago

      “Tragedy?” Let’s try to keep things in perspective, shall we? In an arena where guys are paid in millions and earn more in one season than many people make in a lifetime, there are no “tragedies.” What there is, however, is inaccurate market reading, overconfidence, and faulty gamesmanship. Of course you don’t want the player to suffer for his agent’s goof-ups, but unfortunately that goes with the territory. On the bright side, even the player who has to settle for a ‘measly’ $1.5-3.5M this season has a chance to improve his fortunes for next year by grabbing his bat and glove, and showing the League he is worth more. The rest of us should be so lucky!

    • *Reality alert*
      *Reality alert*
      A tragedy? In the wake of Haiti let’s be a little more diligent with the use of that word. A multi-millionaire isn’t going to make a few more …
      I realize it’s crazy to bring the real world into sports talk but anyway …

      • Infield Fly 5 years ago

        I realize it’s crazy to bring the real world into sports talk but anyway …

        Yeah….’crazy’ enough to be sane.

      • glenstein 5 years ago

        *Grammar alert*
        *Grammar alert*

        Words function differently in different contexts, and in the course of conversation you have a responsibility to pick up on intended meanings and not project fictional ones. To read ‘tragedy’ and infer even an implied comparison to Haiti is to needlessly confuse yourself by failing to pick up on context clues (such as your url). It also irresponsibly casts aspersions on the person using the word tragedy, who did nothing wrong.

        There are valid ways to express sympathy for what happened -and we all should- but lecturing others on their choice of adjectives in random conversations isn’t one of them.

  3. Guest 5 years ago

    Being that all three players are highly overrated and just straight up not good ball players; no he did not. But at the same time yes he did.

    • pinkiepinkerton 5 years ago

      I agree on Washburn and Damon. Both had inflated numbers due to the stadium they played in and the skill of the players that helped them deliver those numbers.

      However, Lopez is truly an undervalued talent. A good 2B on defense with a solid OBP for the last 4 years (except that half season in Washington). He reasonably deserves a contract equal to or greater than Hudson being that he is a couple years younger.

  4. Washburn has had 4 good months in 4 years. He isn’t a good player.
    Damon… it’s his own fault really. Don’t always buy into what your agent is selling.
    As for Lopez, not a lot of teams need a second baseman.

    • thegrayrace 5 years ago

      Not sure why the Dodgers didn’t sign Lopez (over Belliard… or Carroll… or Berroa… or Green). If he could be had for ~$3m, he’d be worth it to them.

  5. elgringo79 5 years ago

    Maybe Boras can go Hollywood-agent and get Washburn a part on “24,” as a Keifer Sutherland stand-in.

  6. bjsguess 5 years ago

    Boras’ job is to educate his players and advocate for them.

    We have no idea why Washburn turned down $5m from Minnesota. Maybe it was based on bad advice from Boras. Maybe Boras recommended that he sign the deal and Washburn said no.

    Until we have the facts (not just speculation) it’s way too early to go after Boras. And while Boras makes a convenient punching bag, it’s always the decision of the player to accept or reject a deal.

    • If you are saying that imperfect information, which is the case almost all the time, prevents us from judging agents at all, I disagree. How often do we hear a player admit that their agent’s advice prompted them to turn down the best deal? Or hear the agent admit that? The hot stove has imperfect info all over the place. If that’s considered an obstacle then you really can’t judge any contract or trade, ever.

      • bjsguess 5 years ago

        Tim – I totally get what you are saying. We are always dealing with imperfect information. You are right on. I guess my only beef with the post is that we have NO information on why deals weren’t made for these guys.

        We can point to Boras’ high asking price but that doesn’t explain the whole story. The Cards were able to knock down Holliday’s price by $60m and yet still overpaid in many people’s mind. A high asking price is simply one of many tools inside the Boras’ bag of contract negotiations. I can’t think of a situation where that initial high asking price was directly linked to a player not landing a contract.

        If we hear Damon come out and say that Boras told him that he would get at least 2/22 then we can come back and nail Boras to the cross for his poor read of the market. Until that time we are left only to speculate on the private conversations that occurred between player and agent.

        • “I can’t think of a situation where that initial high asking price was directly linked to a player not landing a contract.”

          Well that’s because the initial high asking price ends the conversation, and therefore you’d probably never even hear that a team was interested.

    • wihargo 5 years ago

      This is why I’d like to read an account of a player’s experience as a Boras client. Is he client focused? Or does he tell his clients what to do?
      If Damon, Washburn and Lopez were fully informed about the market and chose not to sign deals that were presented to them, it would be hard to fault Boras for that.

    • Is Boras involving the media too much in his expectations? Not sure, but it turns all the fans against him immediately. Maybe if the media wasn’t alerted so early to his contract expectations (by Boras camp themselves), we wouldn’t be so quick to mock his demands? Yes, they are sometimes hysterical, but would we think so if this forum wasn’t erupting with negative comments about his initial contract demand for Damon being 4/54 or Manny last year wanting 5/100? Is there any information (statistics) about the percentage that Boras clients actually sign for in comparison to their initial demands on average?

    • Is Boras involving the media too much in his expectations? Not sure, but it turns all the fans against him immediately. Maybe if the media wasn’t alerted so early to his contract expectations (by Boras camp themselves), we wouldn’t be so quick to mock his demands? Yes, they are sometimes hysterical, but would we think so if this forum wasn’t erupting with negative comments about his initial contract demand for Damon being 4/54 or Manny last year wanting 5/100? Is there any information (statistics) about the percentage that Boras clients actually sign for in comparison to their initial demands on average?

  7. Roy Munson 5 years ago

    One word comes to mind…. YES

    Totally misread the market and cost his clients millions upon millions…

    • Failed? Can you really say that Boras failed? I agree that he misread the market, but failed is not at all accurate.

      Damon: his last contract was 4/52
      Washburn: 4/37
      Lopez: Not sure what Boras pulled last time.

      So, has Boras really failed his clients?

  8. ThinkBlue10 5 years ago

    i dont think the manny signing is regrettable.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Agreed. Manny brings money to Chavez Ravine.

      • And just as fast, McCourt’s divorce lawyers are spending it.

      • monroe_says
        monroe_says 5 years ago

        Manny brings money to Chavez Ravine?
        simply not true.
        average game Dodger attendance:
        2007 47, 617 (pre-Manny)
        2008 46, 056
        2009 46, 440

        meanwhile, how many rasta weave hats can you sell?

        • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

          It isnt only attendance. It was calculated, I believe by the LA Times, that the money the Dodgers made by Manny’s 1/2 season in LA was so substantial that had it been over a full year, they would have made 16M dollars in merchandise alone.

          Also, the amount of season tickets went up, the money we made from the playoffs(we wouldnt have made the playoffs in 08 most likely), and the cost of tickets like Mannywood made the Dodgers millions. The merchandise alone has probably paid for most of his contract already.

          • monroe_says
            monroe_says 5 years ago

            great. in the midst of the initial hysteria, the dodgers sold some wigs and they sold some shirts and they were able to re-brand some of the worst seats in the stadium “mannywood.” i’m sure the parking lot attendant (mccourt) was thrilled. similarly, i’m sure those new season ticket holders were enthused to have their beloved man-boy miss the first 50 games of the season for cheating.

            if you are a fan interested in winning, the dodgers simply overpaid. what do you care about merchandise money that was funneled into imelda mccourt’s shoe collection and not the team? any decent GM could have squeezed a lot more wins out of 45 million than the 2.7 they got from manny last year plus whatever he produces this season – that is, if he even deigns to show up at all.

          • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

            How does what McCourt is going through with the divorce have anything to do with earning his contract. He earned because he made the money back for the team. How the team reuses that money is not Manny’s fault.

            And yea, everyone was pissed when he was suspended. He was a beast the first 27 games or so and everyone feared what would happen. You know what though? His suspension was probably the best thing that could have happened to this team. It forced guys like Kemp and Ethier to carry the offense and grow as players. Now they are quite possibly the best CF-RF combo in the NL, and the majors.

            You seem to forget that any money that was due to Manny during the suspension is NOT paid to Manny. Its over 8M a year.

            It is not an overpayment when you pay the player the amount that YOU wanted to pay him. The Dodgers beat Manny and beat Boras.

            Let me guess, you are an angry Red Sox fan who is mad that Manny left, even after he won you 2 WS titles(remember the last star that won you a title before Manny was Babe Ruth..)

          • monroe_says
            monroe_says 5 years ago

            by your brilliant economic calculation that “it’s not an overpayment when you pay the player the amount you wanted to pay him” the dodgers were financial geniuses when they signed andruw jones to 2 years/38 million, darren dreifort to 5 years / 55 million, jason schmidt to 3 yrs/ 47 million etc etc.

            let me guess, you work on Wall Street.

          • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

            Once again, what does other things have to do with Manny? And I doubt the Dodgers got the exact contract they wanted for Jones, Dreifort or Schmidt.

            And Dreifort wasnt signed by McCourt… what the hell does he have to do with this?

            Please, come up with examples to support your incorrect statements that apply

          • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

            Once again, what does other things have to do with Manny? And I doubt the Dodgers got the exact contract they wanted for Jones, Dreifort or Schmidt.

            And Dreifort wasnt signed by McCourt… what the hell does he have to do with this?

            Please, come up with examples to support your incorrect statements that apply

          • monroe_says
            monroe_says 5 years ago

            by your brilliant economic calculation that “it’s not an overpayment when you pay the player the amount you wanted to pay him” the dodgers were financial geniuses when they signed andruw jones to 2 years/38 million, darren dreifort to 5 years / 55 million, jason schmidt to 3 yrs/ 47 million etc etc.

            let me guess, you work on Wall Street.

        • drewelowe 5 years ago

          Like many things, the devil is in the details:

          2008 44,578 up to 7/31
          2008 49,387 8/1 and after (Manny trade)

          2009 43,331 up to 7/2
          2009 49,527 7/3 and after (return from suspension)

          To say Manny doesn’t bring money to Chavez Ravine is simply not true.

        • drewelowe 5 years ago

          Like many things, the devil is in the details:

          2008 44,578 up to 7/31
          2008 49,387 8/1 and after (Manny trade)

          2009 43,331 up to 7/2
          2009 49,527 7/3 and after (return from suspension)

          To say Manny doesn’t bring money to Chavez Ravine is simply not true.

    • thegrayrace 5 years ago

      Doesn’t seem anybody else was offering anything near that much. At the very least, the Dodgers could have made the 2nd year a team option rather than a player option, and then probably resigned him for ~$8m-10m this offseason instead of paying him $20m.

      • lakersdodgersyankees4life 5 years ago

        We got the exact contract we wanted to give him, except better. In November, we offered 45M guaranteed, up front. Now, we got our 2/45, except deffered and the 2nd yr wasnt guaranteed. He hit well at the start of the season and came back strong after the suspension. It wasnt his fault he got hit on the hand. Even so, he brings tons of money to LA and if he is anywhere near the old Manny in 2010, he will be well worth his contract…

      • The Dodgers held their own gun to their own head, if that makes sense. They allowed Boras and Manny too much leverage. It’s sad, but true. They were desperate to cover up the Jones mistake and what better way than to create “Mannywood”? He will have a really solid season this year, but I say it again, work out a deal to send him to Seattle.

        • monroe_says
          monroe_says 5 years ago

          The Milton and Manny Show would be quite a gas.

          • Instead you anticipate the absolute worst case scenario. How bad of a clubhouse rep was Manny carrying when he was shipped out of Boston? Instead he played with MVP like numbers that carried into the playoffs. And what if he fires up Milton? That’s a deadly combo sitting behind lots of OBP in Figgins and Ichiro. Do the M’s have any other big bats that they can make a move for without costing much? AGonz is on the horizon, but that WILL cost the farm either way, so why not gamble on Manny?

          • Instead you anticipate the absolute worst case scenario. How bad of a clubhouse rep was Manny carrying when he was shipped out of Boston? Instead he played with MVP like numbers that carried into the playoffs. And what if he fires up Milton? That’s a deadly combo sitting behind lots of OBP in Figgins and Ichiro. Do the M’s have any other big bats that they can make a move for without costing much? AGonz is on the horizon, but that WILL cost the farm either way, so why not gamble on Manny?

        • ThinkBlue10 5 years ago

          and what would seattle give us in return, lee perhaps?

          • Really? That’s your response? Does it really matter what they give in return? Manny is gonna walk after the season with no arbitration offer, LA should be happy with late draft picks for all it matters, or bench players. I am not going to throw names out there from the M’s farm, because it will be a rental. I proposed this idea on the Bedard signing board. Manny played like a champ for half a season for LA after the trade and Seattle needs a threat in their lineup. They could set themselves up to keep him after the season as DH. LA played great without him in the lineup for 50 games and could do it again post trade.

          • Really? That’s your response? Does it really matter what they give in return? Manny is gonna walk after the season with no arbitration offer, LA should be happy with late draft picks for all it matters, or bench players. I am not going to throw names out there from the M’s farm, because it will be a rental. I proposed this idea on the Bedard signing board. Manny played like a champ for half a season for LA after the trade and Seattle needs a threat in their lineup. They could set themselves up to keep him after the season as DH. LA played great without him in the lineup for 50 games and could do it again post trade.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            Yes really!
            You think Manny will have a great season and want the Dodgers to trade him for nothing? We don’t come close to the playoffs without Manny next season.

            “Manny played like a champ for half a season for LA after the trade and Seattle needs a threat in their lineup”

            Well the Dodgers need a Ace, Manny for Lee sounds good.

          • Completely unrealistic expectation of you. Lee in return? Ya, that makes complete and total sense. I am not even a LA or SEA fan and that is just a dumb dream for you. Manny is good and yes helped LA, but they proved that Ethier and Kemp can carry the team without him. While you’re off in the land of Nod with your unrealistic trade demands, why don’t you just demand Felix and Lee for Manny. You sound like Boras trying to negotiate a contract. Dumb.

            Let’s see, SEA can offer Lee arbitration with no risk of him taking it and grab 2 draft picks. So you propose that they trade Lee straight up for a guy who can’t be offered arbitration at the risk of possibly having to pay him 30mm? Ya, that makes sense. If SEA will throw in the Easter Bunny and 2 coupons for a Grand Slam breakfast at Denny’s I say pull the trigger and seal that deal!!

          • Guest 5 years ago

            Everything you have said is irrelevant.

            Manny for Lee sounds just as stupid as Manny for nothing(because Seattle needs a hitter).. LA trades Manny for scraps and Seattle pays some money and gets a 900 OPS hitter. Right..

            I was not being serious, you sadly are.

          • No, you miss the point. Seattle is making moves, moves for the playoffs, we would all agree? Manny is gonna walk, right? So if you can’t get any draft compensation through an arbitration offering for to Manny at the risk of approximately 30mm that he would receive, why not strike up a conversation with Seattle? If you interpreted that LA just give Manny away, then that waas not at all what was meant.

            I don’t know what LA would want in return, but the demands wouldn’t be met if they were that high. They can’t get the farm for him, but shooting for bullpen arms isn’t a stretch or “insert name here”.

            And yes, as all Boras clients seem to do in their contract year, Manny will most likely have a solid season.

          • ThinkBlue10 5 years ago

            yeah, thats my response!
            idk if you’ve noticed but manny is valuable to the dodgers. i mean we have seats in left field called mannywood for gods sake.
            You sound like a complete idiot saying the dodgers should give manny up for absolutley nothing.

        • ThinkBlue10 5 years ago

          and what would seattle give us in return, lee perhaps?

  9. stymeedone 5 years ago

    where he is failing is in how he markets his players. The Detroit Tigers dont need a poor fielding outfielder. But they do need someone who can bat lefty. And they have Inge coming off double knee surgury and a rookie secondbaseman. Seems to me the switch-hitting Lopez might be more attractive than Damon. He could lead off and rotate between 3b and dh and OF. Inge is in last year of contract, and there is no one waiting in the wings on the farm. One year at 2.5 plus an option at 4 might be enough.

  10. fisk72
    fisk72 5 years ago

    A combination of Boras’s stubborness/ego along with the fast changing market away from older/diminished skills players. Jermaine Dye is another example of such, a player who greatly overvalued his present worth. In the end though I do agree, the player makes the final decision.

  11. DanMizer 5 years ago

    Beltre signing wasnt an “EPIC” fail because he left more cash on the table.. He took the sox offer because he wanted to play for a winner, a guarantee.. a chance to win a WS.. whats wrong with that. .in todays sports world a story like that should be respected and honored.. Im a diehard Yankee fan who was born and raised in Boston(have to listen to friends and family bust my balls all the time) I basically hate the Red Sox but I respect Beltre a lot more because of this. Good man, good player. This is good for baseball.

    • Beltre’s deal was more for him to increase his value for next year playing for a good team in a good ball park.

    • moyerLIVES 5 years ago

      Doesn’t have as much to do with Boston being a winner as it does with the band box they play in. As a right handed hitter with line drive and pull power, he’s going to get inflated numbers in a one year audition there. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him go to the Rockies for even less. He probably won’t be in Boston after next year because someone will overpay for him (paging Dr. Minaya…)

    • stymeedone 5 years ago

      can you say “mercenary”.

      • 0vercast 5 years ago

        Mercenary = Reggie Sanders. Not Beltre, not yet at least.

  12. JohnOrpheus 5 years ago

    I wish the Cards would just sign Felipe Lopez. He played well there before, and he can be the left side of a David Freese platoon and the right side of a Skip Shumaker platoon, plus he can play the outfield. He’s really a perfect fit.

    • Infield Fly 5 years ago

      I thought the Cards were at the limit of their budget, or do they still have that extra $3-4M to play with that Mozeliak referred to a while ago? I lost track.

      • roebirds 5 years ago

        The Cards haven’t signed anyone to a major league since Holliday, so they conceivably have another $6 mil or so to spend on a bench bat or two and a veteran reliever. Lopez would be a perfect fit, IMO, since he hits from both sides (the Cards have no lefties or switch-hitters on their bench as it stands).

  13. Scott Boras is a very good agent, but I think its possible that he has too many clients to properly serve them all. More than anything else I think that Boras and these players have been affected by a transformation in the market and how GM’s do business. There are fewer multi-year deals and teams are cautious about players in their mid to late 30s.

    • bjsguess 5 years ago

      It’s not like Boras is running a one man shop. His level of involvement on each player is going to vary wildly depending on the player and his earning potential. I’d bet that he focuses on a handful of negotiations each year and his staff handle the rest.

  14. Triteon 5 years ago

    There are many of us in STL wondering about Lopez… Mozeliak still has some money to spend and the versatile Lopez would be an excellent fit. He wouldn’t be a full-time starter but he’d be a valuable reserve for a contending team, plus he is still popular in St. Louis.

  15. stymeedone 5 years ago

    Boras should market his players to teams better. He is currently trying to push Damon on Detroit, and yes, there is a need for a left handed hitter. With Ordonez and Guillen already in the outfield, however, another poor fielder would seem to be a terrible idea. Detroit is planning on starting a rookie at 2b, and has Inge coming off double knee surgury. It would seem offerring a little infield insurance would be a better fit. Plus Inge is in last year of contract and there is no replacement waiting on the farm. Felipe Lopez, a switch hitter, could fill the roll of leadoff hitter as the primary DH, and also spell Inge , Sizemore and Guillen. If one gets injured or doesnt live up to expectations, he get to step in full time. One year at 2.5 (more than Kennedy, less than Hudson) with an option at 4.0 may be enough.

  16. YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

    I think the problem with Damon is that the Yankees overpaid him like they do with all of their free agents so in his mind he actually thinks he’s worth that much.
    ——————

    The market is fluid and changes like the wind. Every free agent star player is usually overpaid, excluding the 2009 Abreu’s of the world which may have been real bargains in the last year or so. However, Holida, Bay and Lackey prove that star players in a free bidding open market are almost always going to get paid above their “real” value. When looking at what Damon signed for in 2006 (4/$52) I’m not sure how anyone can say he was overpaid. Relative to what? He averaged (about) 145 gms, 100 + runs, 30 dbls, 20 hrs, 20 Sb and a .285/.370 line while being an excellent leadoff hitter for most of that 4 year period. His obvious, and really his only glaring negative, is his noodle of an arm. He still has decent range and speed in the OF. Keep in mind, in the same market that saw Vernon Wells get 7/$126 (12/06), Soriano get 8/$136 (11/06), Kosuke Fukodome get 4/$48 (12/07), Juan Pierre get 5/$42 mil (11/06), Aaron Rowand get 5/$60 (12/07), Carlos Guille get 4/$48 (3/07), Jose Guillen get 3/$36 (12/07) and Gary Matthews get 5/$50 (11/06) is anyone going to argue that Damon hasn’t, for the most part, out performed or been a better value than those listed above?

    The problem with Damon and Boras is that they failed to account for the fact that a) Damon has regressed defensively and is a step slower b) GMs value defense moreso than ever before c) GMs are less inclined to hand out big contracts to aging players and are turning more towards younger and cheaper alternative d) that fewer and fewer teams had the need for a LF e) those teams that had a need for a LF either went the cheaper route going short term and cheap (Crisp, Ankiel, Nady, etc) or splurged for an elite level player (Bay and Holiday). $13 mil is big money relative to the economic times and Damon didn’t want to short term (1 year deals) and he was no longer an elite talent. He’s a tweener. A guy who still has upside and can perform at or slightly below an all-star level but can also be 1 year away from seeing the wheels fall completely off. Seeing as how the market developed as slowly as it did last year for aging stars (see Bobby Abreu in 2009) I’m startled that Boras played things slow the way he did and didn’t jump on the 2/$14 deal extended by the Yanks. Perhaps he had his head up his behind and was too busy working on Matt Holiday while watching the Jason Bay situation that he failed to expedite the situation with Damon. Seeing as how Boras was shopping other LF clients to the Yanks (Holliday, Ankiel, Baldelli, Nady), maybe Damon should’ve takien charge of his own future with the Yanks sooner than later (once they were heavy into Nick Johnson).

    But let’s not revise history here. Damon, even with a noodle of an arm, is a fine acquisition on a 1 year deal under $7 mil. On a good lineup he should be hood for a .285/.365 30 dbl, 15 hr, 15-20 SB line with a professional approach to hitting. In the right ballpark his lack of defense can be mitigated.

    • Good post my friend. I hate when people just take every opportunity to talk smack about the Yanks. Damon was well worth the 4/52 contract he was given.

      But this is all part of the Yankee hate fever. They ignore everything but the Yanks do and don’t do.

      • PHLPVD 5 years ago

        I do hate the Yankees but I’ll still say Damon was no doubt a worthwhile signing especially if you consider the market in which he signed.

        • Kolukonu 5 years ago

          Thank you for being sensible and reasonable, and not using your bias of the Yankees in a negative fashion. :o)

    • bjsguess 5 years ago

      Damon was a very good signing for the Yankees. No question about it.

  17. RiverKKiller999 5 years ago

    Its good that Boras wants the best and most money as possible for his clients but he get gets a little crazy with some spectations .Damon isn’t worth 10 mill.maybe 5mill and less .The only reason he put up good numbers is because of that short porch in RF in Yankee Stadium.Who couldn’t hit a homer in that park??Damn I would hate to see what the Phillies could do in that park for a full season.

    • SullyLV. 5 years ago

      The short porch is in right field.At the end of the baseball season less HR’s were being
      hit there.

      • RiverKKiller999 5 years ago

        I know the short porch is RF.(I edited it out).

    • bjsguess 5 years ago

      Damon was a very good hitter before moving into the new field last year. His year in ’09 was pretty much in line with 2006 and 2008.

      • wakefield4life 5 years ago

        All those years were hitting towards the short porch, whether it be the new yankee stadium or old. Damon hit 20+ twice in his 4 year tenure with the Yanks. In his 10 year career before reaching the yanks, he only hit 20 HRs once, and that was the big 2004 year. Over the course of his career, he has an average .288/.355/.439 line. He does not profile as a power hitter. He doesn’t even profile as a hitter that should hit 20 HRs in a season. He’s a contact hitter whose line was slightly inflated by the short porch while he wore the mask of a power hitter in yankee stadium.

  18. empathizerightonyourbehind 5 years ago

    i just want to forward the idea that jarrod washburn failed jarrod washburn (by sucking at pitching).

  19. Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

    How the mighty have fallen.

    • I will consider Boras fallen when his clients leave him.

      • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

        Even if he has ‘tripped’, it’s nice seeing whom I’m sure in his own mind is powerful, be powerless.

        Boras screwed up, and his clients pay the price. I doubt that’s enough incentive to ditch him, but maybe it will open their eyes.

  20. derek8556 5 years ago

    Boras’s tactics only work for the top FA’s. He is going to have to change his tactic when he is the agent for players who are considered the middle-low tier FA. The top FA’s will get paid regardless but when he is the agent for middle/lower tier FA, the team can go to other players who have similar talent/stats and cost a fraction of the price of what Boras wants for his clients

    • bjsguess 5 years ago

      Is Alex Cora a top tier FA? Ivan Rodriguez?

      What you are seeing is that the market, as a whole, has seen a slow-down for non-elite talent. This has nothing to do with Boras as other agents are seeing the exact same thing. Teams are paying a premium for players that are perceived as being elite.

      That said, the two examples I listed above show that Boras has done right by his clients regardless of where they reside on the talent spectrum.

      • derek8556 5 years ago

        I didn’t say that. Boras has done well for majority of his players. But he also has to learn that there is not a lot of teams that will pay what he thinks he can get for his mid-late 30’s players

  21. dickylarue 5 years ago

    I think if there is any lingering effect from this off season, it will be that Boras’ older clients realize they need to move on to other representation. He is a fantastic agent for a player in his prime looking for a long term deal.

    He is not a good agent for an aging player whose prime years are behind him.

    I think the way he does business hurts those players as he focuses on setting the market with the big fish, while the little fish/older fish are asked to sit back and wait for the big fish to sign.

    That strategy might have worked in the past, but it’s now hurting players like the ones mentioned in this article.

    If I was a 30-something player with him as my agent and my contract was soon running out, I’d be looking for a new agent right about now.

  22. harmony55 5 years ago

    Tim, I’m disappointed with your final paragraph and your clear bias against Scott Boras. You’re capable of better work.

    His “ridiculous initial demands” have worked well for most Boras clients, as you all but acknowledge. As with any market, Boras and ultimately his client can choose a high-risk, high-reward route instead take a safer route.

    My broker’s advice might result in losses in three of 10 instances, but we always seem to come out ahead overall.

    • If you have read my past work you would never say I have a “clear bias against Scott Boras.” My work probably shows an admiration for him…none of the typical Boras-bashing, praise for his many successes, bolding his clients on the list, doing posts about him but not other agents.

      The post focused on the three losses. Nowhere did it say that Boras is a failure overall. I don’t see why you would ignore your broker’s three losses instead of analyzing them.

      • harmony55 5 years ago

        I guess I was offended by your uncharacteristically inflammatory use of “get screwed” and “ridiculous initial demands.”

        I guess the flip side would be to chatise those teams left out in the cold in February after making “ridiculously” low initial offers.

        If those three Boras clients had taken early offers, would we have a different set of free agents (perhaps Boras clients … or not) still unsigned on February 8? The contracted market the past two offseaons has squeezed those who hold out until February.

        Does anyone have any idea whether Felipe Lopez has received any offers?

  23. The Mets should be all over Felipe Lopez, but won’t get involved because they have $8M (in 2010 dollars) invested in the black hole that is Luis Castillo/Alex Cora. Lopez would certainly be a major upgrade over those two clowns and of course he has versatility– he can play SS without embarrassing himself and has even played some outfield.

    Unfortunately, the kind of bad decisions Omar Minaya makes are long-term bad decisions. Luis Castillo just had a “good” year and was still a pretty bad player. You have a chance to make a major upgrade at a position and steal a younger, more productive, far more defensively sound player for $3M, probably adding three wins or so in the process, yet you don’t do it because you’re stuck with an overpaid veteran. For two more seasons. Please kill me.

    • Infield Fly 5 years ago

      You have a chance to make a major upgrade at a position and steal a younger, more productive, far more defensively sound player for $3M, probably adding three wins or so in the process, yet you don’t do it because you’re stuck with an overpaid veteran. For two more seasons.

      Although he is not as young, the same arguments were made [by fans] for signing the O-dawg – which, financially, was quite doable for the Mets. Still, as always, they resisted in the name of…in the name of… OK, I don’t know why, but ‘amazinly’ they felt justified to ignore that opportunity. And now we get to ‘benefit’ from that wisdom.

      Please kill me.
      Are you blind? There’s a line here. Wait your turn!

  24. Threat_Level_RedSox 5 years ago

    Damon should just sign for what ever he can get right know, he’s 575 hits away from a 3000, if he gets 150-160 on a one year deal he should be able to get a good contract next year as a future hall of famer closeing in on 3000, think wade boggs or pudge rodriguez.

    Plus every contending team look for a stable been-their veteran at the trade deadline.

  25. Steve_in_MA 5 years ago

    Far be it from me to say that Boras shouldn’t be criticized on the basis of his objective performance. He certainly should. I think that we should be free to apply the same technique to critiquing baseball journalists whose rumors and analysis often prove to be untrue or faulty.

  26. Threat_Level_RedSox 5 years ago

    As a Red Sox fan what will look like the worse deal in 2 years Cameron for 2yrs/$15.5 or Damon 1yr/$5-6 mil

  27. monkeyspanked 5 years ago

    Boras is only a good agent for the top names in the game. If you’re a has been, or a never quite was, he’s gonna talk you up like you are the best. But teams for the most part aren’t that stupid anymore with this economy. I mean just look at this site. There’s a separate post just for Boras clients. That shows the negative hit some players are going to take right there just for being with him. If you’re Mark Teixeira or Matt Holiday, etc then Boras is your guy. Otherwise, time to hook up with a new agent if you want to stay in this game a bit longer.

  28. TheFilibuster 5 years ago

    Very surprised Lopez is still available..yeah he plays absolute crap defense but his offensive, his avg and OBP, can not be ignored.

  29. YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

    Its good that Boras wants the best and most money as possible for his clients but he get gets a little crazy with some spectations .Damon isn’t worth 10 mill.maybe 5mill and less .The only reason he put up good numbers is because of that short porch in RF in Yankee Stadium.Who couldn’t hit a homer in that park??Damn I would hate to see what the Phillies could do in that park for a full season.
    ——————-
    Damon, as much as any other hitter who hit’s the ball to RF, absolutely enjoyed Yankee stadium, especially during the warm months. However, why do people act as if he spent all 4 years in NYS instead of just 2009? Why do people act as if 2009 was the 1st time he ever hit 20 + hrs instead of the 3rd time in the last 6 years? In fact he’s averaged 18 hrs and 21 SB over the last 6 years. Pretty damn good for a leadoff hitter. I also challenge that Damon is worth at least $5 mil and maybe more. Problem is, as he’s realized, there are very few teams that have a need for him or have enough of a reason to extend him a contract for that amount or more. Right now, it’s clearly a buyers market. Had it been clear that he was willing to sign for $5 to $7 mil back in December then I guarantee you he would be making plane reservations to head towards a specific location next week. What GM in his right mind would not have signed him for 2/$10 back in December if that was all it would take instead of the insane 3/$36 that he was holding out for or the thought by most of baseball that he and the Yanks would eventually find common ground on a deal. Problem now is most teams have already found a dance partner and Damon is faced with having to dance the last dance with the ugly fat chick right now.

  30. diehardmets 5 years ago

    I still want to see the Mets cut Castillo and sign Lopez to a 2 year deal with an option. But it won’t happen.

  31. redsfandan 5 years ago

    I haven’t read the other comments but this makes me think of Varitek last year. He rejected arbitration (which would’ve given him a salary close to $10M) because Boras was trying to get a deal like Posada’s 4 year/$52.4M deal. Eventually Varitek signed a one year (with an option) contract that paid him $5M in ’09.

    Boras has his fans but the guy does make mistakes. Costly mistakes.

  32. YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

    His “ridiculous initial demands” have worked well for most Boras clients, as you all but acknowledge. As with any market, Boras and ultimately his client can choose a high-risk, high-reward route instead take a safer route.
    ————-

    I disagree. Boras’ early rhetoric offers ZERO incentives to getting a deal done. No one feels as if they ‘got one over’ on Boras at the end of the day. How did that philosphy work for Texeira, Vtek, Beltre, Holliday, etc? At the end of the day, those players were signed for amounts that the TEAMS found to me more realistic. All it does is make him look foolish and it is a played out tactic.

    As many have mentioned, Boras’ tactics really work for his younger elite clients. The older, past their prime players…not so much. I’m in the music industry and in my profession it is a lot easier to create a frenzy for the Jay Z’s and Lady Gaga’s of the world than it is for Vanilla Ice and B-52’s. You simply can’t, or shouldn’t use, the same tactics for all of your clients. A better route is to understand and valuate the market for each player and then set about a game plan tailor made to fit that players needs and put them in the best possible situation. Using cases like I-Rod (2/6 mil w/ the Nats) and Alex Cora (1/2 w/ a vesting $2 mil option w/ the Mets) aren’t exactly brilliant machinations. Rather it’s a case where a desperate team overpaid to get a player they wanted (see Nats and their 100 loss season) and a case where you have an inept GM who probably overpaid a little for a utility player. All in all the Cora deal isn’t handcuffing anyone and probably isn’t that big a deal. Bragging about getting over on Minaya doesn’t win Boras any kuddos. That’s like the con artist on 42nd st running the peanut under the shell game, bragging because he beat Stevie Wonder out of $20 bucks. Big deal and who couldn’t accomplish that?

  33. twentyforty 5 years ago

    You guys have to understand that there are certain players that do most of their own decision making no matter whether they hire Scott Boras or Scott Baio to be their agent. I know for a fact that one of the three players mentioned by Tim is only interested in signing in one location and for a dollar amount that he will agree to…or else he won’t play. It’s that simple. At least one of the cases has nothing to do with Boras and is entirely related to that particular player’s current situation and desire…nothing more. On top of it, Boras does far, far less actual negotiating for players of this caliber. You would be taken aback at how the actual negotiations take place in some of these cases and would be entirely surprised at who does the actual player placement activities.

    • Infield Fly 5 years ago

      You would be taken aback at how the actual negotiations take place in some of these cases and would be entirely surprised at who does the actual player placement activities.

      You are in the industry, I assume? If so, can you enlighten us more about this process? It would be good to know.

      • twentyforty 5 years ago

        Let’s just say that I’m “close” to the industry. I’m familiar with the negotiations of one of the three players mentioned and his particular agent was not involved in the discussions. The discussions actually occurred earlier in free agency, understanding the players’ particular parameters of a deal, and included the player, a third party assisting the player and team personnel that is not the GM. The decision of the player not to sign was made for reasons unrelated to salary. In certain cases, the idea that a player is left out in the cold is entirely inaccurate. In this particular instance, the player’s desire to continue to play has reached a point that unless it will be done on his terms exactly, he would rather pursue other ventures.

        • Infield Fly 5 years ago

          Well that is great to learn about because I often wonder about what, besides what is leaked, goes on behind closed doors. Thanks for the peek. I hope you are free to offer more insight [where appropriate] in the days to come.

          One more thing: maybe you should change your handle from “twentyforty” to “InformedSource!”

          • twentyforty 5 years ago

            Please keep in mind that this relates only to the specific player I haven’t identified although I do know for a fact that similar circumstances and negotiations occur all over the place. When you think about it though it’s quite logical that deals are done in this fashion for many players. Consider how many players there are in each organization, the relatively finite number of active agents and even fewer personnel decision makers and the justification is simple. Some of the “hot stove” stuff sells newspapers and web clicks even if a good majority of it is merely noise.

  34. rbeezy 5 years ago

    Damon could be a nice peice for the reds atop the order getting on base for Votto & Bruce. Probaly sign with the tigs on a on year deal for $6-7 mill , Illtich will get involved and write the cheque. Damon could bring some respect to the top of their order with Damon , Raburn , Magglio , Cabrera. Jackson leading off is scaring me alot and could ruin a lot of quality starts by thier staff.

  35. ZeroZeroZero 5 years ago

    I think over the past 10 years MLB has changed and it doesnt value older players as it once did. A lot of reasons figure in, one being steroids. Boras hasnt adjusted his strategy for older players in this 10 years. He still attacks the market, like he did with Damon, like hes trying to get a 23-25 year old his first big contract. He did it with Jason Varitek last year as well.

  36. pmc765 5 years ago

    Boras negotiations have been known to cause hard feelings. And those hard feelings have ramifications for future Boras clients.

    Certain teams, not that many, simply will not sign his clients. The White Sox are the most clear cut example. They will get rid of a player who signs with Boras. They simply have declared the South Side a Boras free zone.

    So if you’re Joe Crede, hitting homers by the bushel, playing for a good team in a hitter’s paradise, too bad. You can’t stay. And in his case, where he was was perfect. Now he’s a gypsy who may have played his last game.

    Edwin Jackson was very popular in Detroit last year, with his teammates, with Leyland, with the fans, with everybody. He pitched well too, albeit better in the first half. The Tigers extend starting pitchers they like: indeed for every Verlander there are three undeserving, regretted extensions (Bonderman, Robertson, Willis).

    But Jackson had two years left to FA. And he’s a Boras client. The Tigers are perfectly willing to employ Boras clients, they aren’t conscientous objectors. But what are the chances Boras would even let Jackson discuss an extension?

    Knowing that, the Tigers cut him loose, sent him to AZ in exchange for pitchers with more years left before FA. In AZ Jackson may or may not pitch well. AZ is under no illusions: it won’t even shy away from arbitration with him this year. Why worry about teeing him off? He’s a Boras client, and that means he’s a gypsy. In 2012, if not sooner, he’ll be elsewhere. That is, if he can still pitch.

    Clients like this are not well served in the stable of Scott Boras. Tim is absolutely right to point out that the predictable tactics of Boras enable GM’s to anticipate him and react accordingly.

    If I were a GM and I had a choice between a Boras client and a non-Boras client, of course I would take the latter. This isn’t to get even or to stick it to Boras: it’s just good business. It will save you money in the long run.

    As more and more teams tumble to this, the market prices of players moderate. Hiring Boras is not something that every player should do. Those who already employ him must be alert to the possibility that firing him may be in their best interest.

  37. Kolukonu 5 years ago

    I think that Boras definitely overplayed his hand in regards to Damon. There was no way a team was going to offer multiple years at $13M/year, with his deteriorating legs and defensive ability. He still has the ability to make the great play every once in a while, but a younger, fresher body out there has a better chance at doing so than Damon. Also, he is not the same player that signed the deal with the Yanks in 2006.

    As for Lopez, the Cardinals would be the perfect fit. He would work very well in that lineup with Pujols and Holliday being there with him. Who do the Cards have batting leadoff and second?

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      Vs righties- skip schumaker- colby rasmus
      VS lefty-julio lugo/brendan ryan- julio lugo/brendan Ryan/rasmus

  38. harmony55 5 years ago

    “Knowing that, the Tigers cut him loose, sent him to AZ in exchange for pitchers with more years left before FA. In AZ Jackson may or may not pitch well. AZ is under no illusions: it won’t even shy away from arbitration with him this year. Why worry about teeing him off? He’s a Boras client, and that means he’s a gypsy. In 2012, if not sooner, he’ll be elsewhere. That is, if he can still pitch.”

    It’s worth noting that Detroit traded starter Edwin Jackson to Arizona for starter Max Scherzer, another Boras client, albeit a player most likely two years away from arbitration.

  39. jhd5787 5 years ago

    I have to agree with the people saying that Boras is a good manager for the texeira/arod/holliday types but is a lesser agent for the fringe guys at the end or beginning of their careers. His whole angle is scare tactics. He comes out swinging for the fences, telling teams he has offers coming out of the woodwork, when in actuality he probably doesnt. That works in superstars cases because teams cant afford to pass them up, but in the variteks and the damons of the world. teams can go find a decent remplacement for a fraction of the cost. Also personally I think the guy is a scum bag.

  40. jhd5787 5 years ago

    I have to agree with the people saying that Boras is a good manager for the texeira/arod/holliday types but is a lesser agent for the fringe guys at the end or beginning of their careers. His whole angle is scare tactics. He comes out swinging for the fences, telling teams he has offers coming out of the woodwork, when in actuality he probably doesnt. That works in superstars cases because teams cant afford to pass them up, but in the variteks and the damons of the world. teams can go find a decent remplacement for a fraction of the cost. Also personally I think the guy is a scum bag.

  41. double_think 5 years ago

    Damon will have to appease. Boras: 346,000,000 – Humanity: 1

  42. redsoxtalk 5 years ago

    Boras gives all his attention to his top-billed free agents, and that results in his second-tier guys getting the short end of the stick. Boras had some trouble drumming up interest in Holliday this off-season; the big money teams have learned that they can’t wait all off-season for Boras and his delay tactics, so they went with plan B (like the Red Sox with Cameron) to avoid him.

  43. ZeroZeroZero 5 years ago

    Im not so sure that the way Boras handled Alex Rodriguez opt out didnt effect the way the Yankees have dealt with Boras since.
    They signed Texiera from Boras last year but they were getting an elite player and knew he was going to command an elite price and they knew exactly what it would take. There was no negotiation.

  44. CrisE 5 years ago

    At least Beltre was signed for a positive reason (“good D”) and is headed for a playoff appearance. He’ll get the chance to play, and when he re-enters the market it could come with that post-season aroma of success.

    On the other hand, no contender needs a Washburn-grade starter, and there’s a substantial chance that Lopez and Damon don’t get a starting job anywhere. These guys could be back on the market next winter as old bench guys. Good luck with that.

  45. 0vercast 5 years ago

    Very true, in terms of $$.

    But I’d have to say Beltre landed nicely. Reminds me of some NE Patriots signings.

  46. Beltre could still come out ahead over the 2010-12 period, I’d say there’s a good chance.

  47. We are all just guessing here, but I imagine most Boras clients listen to Boras’ advice. If he said Johnny, let’s aim for two years and $20 mil, you won’t do better, Damon listens. If he says Johnny let’s aim for four years and $40 mil and if the Yankees won’t do it we will find it elsewhere, he listens.

  48. bjsguess 5 years ago

    Come on now. The A-Rod saga was the epitome of a Boras negotiation. Let’s play back the facts.

    1. A-Rod opts out his contract that pays him $25m/year.
    2. The Yankees state publicly (several times) that they will NOT negotiate with A-Rod if he opts out his contract.
    3. Not ONE team even hints at being interested in simply matching what A-Rod was earning.
    4. Boras goes on about A-Rod being a $35m/year player.
    5. Boras is excluded from the negotiations and A-Rod crawls back to the Yankees.
    6. The Yankees EXTEND A-Rod’s original contract length, ADD more dollars annually, and ADD even more dollars based off performance clauses.

    What we learn …
    –The Yankees prove that they cannot be trusted when they say things like “We will NOT negotiate under ‘x’ circumstances
    –A-Rod shows that once again he is all about the money
    — Boras shows that he will gladly “take one for the team” by letting his image appear to be tarnished
    — Boras is laughing all the way to the bank. Yankee fans think they got over on Boras while he took them to the cleaners.

    All in all – it was the single most beautiful contract negotiation I have ever witnessed.

  49. CrisE 5 years ago

    I agree. I don’t think he took a bad route given his circumstances.

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