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 Damon, Jarrod 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.