Ranking Agencies By 2013 WAR

Which agency's players have the most MLB talent?  One way of answering that question is to rank the agencies by 2013 wins above replacement (from FanGraphs).  Here are the results for total 2013 WAR.  Please note that players with negative WAR were omitted, and cutoffs of 50 plate appearances for hitters and 20 innings for pitchers were used to remove smaller sample cases.

  1. Boras Corporation: 132.9
  2. Relativity Baseball: 107.4
  3. Excel Sports Management: 72.0
  4. CAA Sports: 70.8
  5. ACES: 68.9
  6. Wasserman Media Group: 62.6
  7. Octagon: 44.8
  8. The Legacy Agency: 43.6
  9. MVP Sports Group: 41.8
  10. Jet Sports Management: 25.5
  11. Beverly Hills Sports Council: 23.5
  12. Frontline: 22.8
  13. TWC Sports: 21.2
  14. LSW Baseball: 20.3
  15. Kinzer Management Group: 19.7

Let's take a look at WAR per big league player, filtering to agencies with at least ten players.  WAR per player:

  1. Boras Corporation: 2.42
  2. Excel Sports Management: 2.18
  3. Relativity Baseball: 2.03
  4. Wasserman Media Group: 2.02
  5. Jet Sports Management: 1.96
  6. Frontline: 1.90
  7. Kinzer Management Group: 1.79
  8. MVP Sports Group: 1.74
  9. Octagon: 1.72
  10. LSW Baseball: 1.69
  11. CAA Sports: 1.54
  12. ACES: 1.47
  13. The Legacy Agency: 1.36
  14. All Bases Covered: 1.28
  15. Beverly Hills Sports Council: 1.12

In some cases WAR per player is deceiving, because a large agency like Boras gets dinged for having small 2013 contributions from players like Xander Bogaerts or Jake Arrieta.  So, here's a listing of the number of four-win players by agency:

  1. Boras Corporation: 11 (Carlos Gomez, Chris Davis, Max Scherzer, Matt Harvey, Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, Adrian Beltre, Carlos Gonzalez, Jayson Werth, Matt Holliday, Jose Fernandez)
  2. Relativity Baseball: 5 (Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Justin Verlander, Andrelton Simmons, Gerardo Parra)
  3. ACES, Excel Sports Management, Wasserman Media Group: tied at 4

MVP Sports Group and Octagon had three each.

A look at three-win players by agency:

  1. Boras Corporation: 20
  2. Relativity Baseball: 14
  3. Excel Sports Management: 11
  4. Wasserman Media Group: 8
  5. CAA Sports: 7
  6. ACES: 6
  7. Octagon: 5
  8. Jet Sports Management, Kinzer Management Group, MVP Sports Group: tied at 3

Comparing these numbers to 2012, the Boras Corporation increased its total WAR by over 27% and came out on top in every category.  The agency continues to represent the most and best MLB talent.  The top ten from last year remains mostly the same, though Relativity (formerly SFX) is on the rise with star power and depth.  Jet Sports Management is a new entrant in the top ten, led by Chris Sale, new addition Mike Minor, Kyle Seager, and Brian McCann.

MLBTR's agency database was used for this post; please email me at mlbtrdatabase@gmail.com with any corrections or omissions.  Also, feel free to drop me a line if you'd just like to see your agency's entire list of players used for this post.

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17 Comments on "Ranking Agencies By 2013 WAR"

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

Nice piece. I would like to see a category added for WAR/$ for FA contracts for each agency to give an idea what agency gives teams the best and worst deals on their players.

1 year 5 months ago

It isn’t so simple. Players like Evan Longoria are very underpaid, but they are in that position because they are offered long deals at decent money after very short service time. A player who isn’t offered that has to go through arbitration and risk injury or bad performance. It is more complicated than just money alone. There are a lot of other factors you have to consider, like when the money was offered, injury history, the individual circumstances.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

That’s precisely why I said FA contracts not all player contracts. Extensions and arbitration salaries would artificially inflate the WAR/$ calculation

East Coast Bias
1 year 5 months ago

Why not? I think it would be a better piece if they included all contracts, to see which agency is bringing the most value to its clients, whether through early or draft signings, extensions, or free agency.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

Then you would include players like Evan Longoria (who signed a ridiculously team friendly extension) and Mike Trout (who produced a 10 WAR season for 500K). It just skews the numbers too much.

East Coast Bias
1 year 5 months ago

Right, but I don’t see that as a problem. Those players signed with those respective agencies. I think it is unfair to remove them from the equation.

Plus, the other side of the coin has bloated contracts for league average players. We’re not removing those from the equation, so why the Trouts and Longos?

Include everyone, and you’ll get a more accurate representation of which agency is bringing the most value per dollar.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

Because agency choice has little to nothing to do with pre-arb and arb salaries. Pre-arb salaries are unilaterally set by the team and have nothing to with the agency.

East Coast Bias
1 year 5 months ago

Pre arb salaries are also very similar and, in the grand scale of things, would provide nominal change.

1 year 5 months ago

I see the Boras Corp is #1 in all the categories. (Yay!) sarcasm intended.
However, I wonder how many of his free agents that were signed immediately help the signing team win the World Series that year of the next.
I want to say zero and to me considering the money owners and Gms pay to sign these players that is more telling then WAR ranking.

Beltre might have come the closest in my recent memory.

1 year 5 months ago

Don’t hate Boras, he does the one thing that his clients ask him to do, make them money. The truth is he works for his clients, he can’t do anything unless they want it. And until owners stop paying players big numbers he will continue to make players wealthy. The truth is, he probably will mess your team up when he helps some stud leave one of these days, but “your” guy wanted the money more than he wanted to stick around with your team. I am a Royals fan and Boras has helped a lot of players leave KC, but I don’t blame him for it.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

I have no problem with Boras trying to make his clients money, its when he opens his mouth that the problems start. For example: “People call me all the time and say, “Man, your players aren’t signed yet.” Well, it doesn’t really matter what time dinner is when you’re the steak” or when he called the Cubs’ rebuild “an all-day sucker” or called the Blue Jays “a successful and committed ownership that needs to give their baseball people financial flexibility.”

The list can go on but my point is he has tendency to publicly criticize teams that wont meet his outrageous asking prices. Boras is an agent not a GM and he should stick to his business.

1 year 5 months ago

He’s sure making a bundle for Drew (Stephen) and Morales. he made a bundle for varitek also his last spin with FA. Nobody denies he can do well with top FA, but then those mid level, even lower third guys, or players on the down swing guys he still tries to play hard ball salary wise with and rely on his smoke and mirror tactics.. Which nobody will fall for.. He almost never makes any money for and costs them money when that arbitration/QO is automatically denied by him and it’s like clock work that can be counted on by GM’s.. Boras client? Offer them a QO/arb and claim a draft pick if the guy is lucky enough to get signed.

1 year 5 months ago

Although it might not change any results why not include negative-WAR. If your using WAR as the reference shouldn’t good and bad be included? Granted the threshold for WAR is so low it is hard to go negative, one has to truly work hard to be that bad.

1 year 5 months ago

My feeling on that is that negative WAR players don’t belong in the Majors, so why penalize their agencies for that?

1 year 5 months ago

Can’t disagree with negative WAR being in the league but it just seems if you give the agency credit for the positive you should penalize them for the negative. Having said that, it was your research and a lot of it so you have the right to include or not whatever you wish. Good job.

1 year 5 months ago

Dr. Andrews’ waiting room WAR: 7.7, plus Miguel Sano.

1 year 5 months ago

An interesting next step would be WAR per million dollars spent.