Over the last two offseasons, the Boras Corporation has negotiated innovative contracts for clients Zach Britton, Yusei Kikuchi, and Jake Arrieta that involved a dual-option year between the player and the team. In all three deals, the club can exercise a longer-term option over the player or decline that option, which gives the player the chance to either enact an opt-out clause or (in Kikuchi’s case) to add another player option season.
Scott Boras, never at a loss for colorful phrasing, describes this type of contract as a “swellopt,” as the agent tells The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link). “For the club, if the player performs well, the club can opt in (contract swells). For the player, if the club doesn’t opt in, the player has the choice to continue with contract (swell) or opt out. It’s a swell option for both,” Boras explained. This type of contract structure could end up being more commonly used around baseball, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post details how teams in the hunt for Bryce Harper (another Boras client) or Manny Machado could deploy the “swellopt” to land on a favorable contract for both sides.
Some more from around the baseball world…
- The Athletics have been in touch with Brett Anderson about a possible reunion in 2019, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Ben Ross writes. Multiple other teams have also shown interest in Anderson, so it isn’t certain if the veteran left-hander will have to settle for another minor league contract or if he’ll be able to land a Major League deal. Pitching for the A’s on a minors pact in 2018, Anderson delivered his typical low-strikeout, high-grounder performance, posting a 4.48 ERA, 3.62 K/BB rate, 5.27 K/9, and 55.6% grounder rate over 80 1/3 innings. Anderson’s season was shortened by two DL stints due to shoulder issues and a forearm strain, and these latest entries to the southpaw’s lengthy injury history could also certainly impact his chances at a guaranteed MLB contract. Anderson would hardly be a sure thing for the A’s, though the team is looking for all the rotation depth it can muster given the inexperience and injury-related question marks surrounding most of the names on the rotation depth chart.
- Hunter Pence has received “several” offers from teams, the outfielder tells El Nuevo Diario’s Angel Luis Mercedes (hat tip to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle). After a pair of down years, Pence is attempting to trigger a late-career rebound in his typical unique fashion, by attempting to overhaul his swing while playing in the Dominican Winter League. Given Pence’s lack of success in 2017-18, Shea figures the veteran’s offers are of the minor league variety, as teams will give Pence a look in Spring Training to see if his new swing holds any promise.
Anyone have a complete list of players Boras repersents?
it’s called Google
Google is a search engine, not a complete list of players Boras represents.
i found the list in wikipedia just by googling.
“i found the list in wikipedia just by googling.”
Wikipedia shows 77 MLB and 6 MiLB clients. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Boras#List_of_clients_and_advisees )
Forbes on the other hand says 67 clients.( https://www.forbes.com/profile/scott-boras/#42e0c4f06637 )
I would put my money on Forbes
Please stop with the political cheap shots. Let’s keep this site about baseball.
MLBTR keeps a database on agency’s and the players they represent. At least they used to. I haven’t seen a post on it in quite some time.
They do, it was mentioned a week or so ago on an agency change post for Verdugo/ someone else.
metsyanksox? typical gutless troll.
Lol, the best post ever VIZ
Sorry to hear about boots!!
How about pick a team and stop blowing Trump for 5 minutes.
MYR, why are you saying good morning to all the conservatives? They stayed up all night crying in their safe space.
Careful, these might be considered acts of “microaggressions”
Wow..Yet you’re the one getting easily bent out of shape over someone who asked for information that they MIGHT have been able to find on their own.
This is not worth having a mental breakdown over. Your blood pressure must be through the roof if something like this sets you off.
Don’t think who you support politically has anything to do with intelligence, but thank you for your asinine comment 🙂
NJ, thank you, ROFLMAO!!!!!!
Viz, he IS gutless because him and his friend run away when all of you guys stand up to him, but he attacks the women on here, and I’m one of them.
You hit the nail on the head!!
There is no Google in China. (Left Chinese market)
If he’s in China, he’d use Baidu.
But use a search engine like DuckDuckGo that doesn’t monitor and keep a log of your searches.
Hope things work out for Pence
Pence looks good with his new swing. I wonder if he’s getting any ML contract offers? I’d definitely sign him for league minimum.
What is Pence defense , is it negative if I remember correctly he was bad a defensive player
Pence’s defense is solid, or has been historically. He is, however, getting up there in age for a ballplayer
Please keep political talk off the website! Ohhhh you meant Hunter Pence nvm
Hunter Pence was hard to watch, even when he was healthy. I hope he enjoys his retirement.
Reality is Hunter Pence will get several minor league offers. Hopefully with the Cardinals. As bad as he’s been, I’d take him and his hustle over Dexter Fowler and his lack of hustle and his .186 batting average. Yelp. I do believe Pence would be a better fit. However, another reality is, the Cardinals President of Baseball Operations has already mandated their new manager that Fowler will be a starter in 2019. That was a lot of Mathaney’s problem. He was mandated to play players who had high salaries but under performing abilities.
We like Pence for an Indian? A lot? If good spring, solves some big issues?
In my opinion, Pence is best suited for younger team ready to make a run at the playoffs, that can afford to give a roster spot to a veteran just for the sake of their bat and veteran presence. I don’t see Pence being able to start several games in a row without hitting a slump or getting injured. That was basically his 2017, Giants expected a starting OFer and got a guy who played great one week, got hurt the next week, then looked lost at the plate for another.
……Another typical non Athlete comment
I’ll take a pass. Even if Pence looks good in Spring Training he’ll still log at least 2 DL stints during the season as he has since 2015.
Boras is great for the game of baseball and I mean that with all sincerity.
Borass is a pimple on baseball’s behind.
Love him or hate him, Boras is by far the best agent in baseball and that goes far beyond contract negotiations.
Love him or hate him, you’d better make way. You’d better hit a bulls-eye cuz Boras don’t play
Boras is great for Boras.
These purported benefits to the game itself are far from obvious. What might those be?
The players get more of the money instead of the owners. I don’t know what else he does to better the game though.
he allows clients to work out at his state of the art facility to be the best they can be.
The players getting more money is good for the players (off the field), no doubt.
But, I’m still not seeing how the game itself (the on field product) has been enhanced by Boras, etc.
If anything, it could be argued that the bloated mega deals signed by a lot of players demotivated them and/or granted them more playing time than they earn and the on field product has suffered as a result. (Panda, Pujols, Carl Crawford, etc.)
No, the aging curve hurt Pujols, the lack of conditioning hurt Sandoval, and speed-only players like Crawford don’t age well. Boras gets hired to do a job; he’s a contract lawyer who negotiates contracts for his clients – if you have ever been in a position, no matter what kind of work you do, to sell your services to the highest bidder most of us do that. Hell, even on the micro -level, most of us don’t stay in our high-school job forever because we feel loyal to the local pizza place or fast-food joint or whatever. We gain more skills or education and shop around for a higher wage.
Boras represents the players for a cut of the contract. The standarsd for agents is 5%, so he has it in his best interests to negotiate the highest contract possible, for not just himself but the many, many employees who work for him.
If owners and GMs don’t understand aging curves by this point, with literally a hundred+ years of compelling data points and 30+ years of advanced analytics that show that almost all players peak from age27-29, I don’t feel sorry for them. They know how to read and analyze data, or at least they should. One of the reasons why Harper and Machado are so valuable is that they haven’t entered their prime yet; most players don’t reach Free Agency until they are in their 30s or so.
But don’t blame Boras for owners – they sign the contracts. Boras does what his clients ask him to do, and almost all of us would negotiate a higher salary for ourselves if we could, especially if we knew our careers would be over by age 40.
Pujols almost certainly “misstated” his age, which has been speculated about for so long that Arte should’ve really considered the likelihood he was signing a mid 30s Pujols.
There is absolutely no proof of this and there never has been.
hell, look how many guys got caught post 9/11.
does anyone really think a rookie like pujols was gonna be able to hide his real age post 9/11 when other, more established players couldn’t?
He tends to hold up the market for all players involved in free agency by waiting out teams to get a big payday for one guy. He can cry all he wants but he is a good reason for the slow moving off seasons of the past 2 years. While some will argue he’s doing his job, and he is, his player(Harper) has a limited market with only a few teams involved. That coupled with Lazano doing the same thing with Machado has a ripple effect. One could say that guys like Pollock could just sign already but they could potentially leave money on the table by signing before the tier above them as they tend to set the market. I said all that to say…Boras is a clown
I disagree, . The slow-moving off-seasons are the result, in large part, of teams getting smarter about signing players past their primes. As I noted above, the access to advanced data that shows, after analyzing thousands of player seasons, that certain players age better than others, and that most players peak between 27-29.
As for Pollock, I doubt Harper and Machado are holding him up – it’s not like he’s a plan B for either of those guys. Pollock is probably a victim of teams getting smarter; he’s 31, he’s played exactly one full season in his career. His skill-set (low walks, reliance on speed) doesn’t age well. Carl Crawford is a perfect example, as someone noted above. But I’m sure Pollock will get a decent contract, but it has nothing to do with Boras “holding up the market.” In fact, he doesn’t control the players – they can sign any contract they want. Boras doesn’t hold a gun to a player’s or GMs head. and force them to offer or accept a contract. He is incredibly thorough in his research, as is well-documented, and players know what they’re getting into when they sign him as an agent. He’s going to advise them as a lawyer should advise his client, and as players expect him to do.
I would absolutely love to hear why instead of just tossing a comment out there.
That’s like saying “I think Kim Jong-un is the best ruler North Korea has ever had” without anything to back it up.
Boras is a visionary.
These types of contracts are indefinitely times more versatile, flexible, than regular plain, stupid player opt-out, contracts.
JDM contract, for example, has three player opt outs Lmao This type of contract structure, would’ve benefited Bosox, more than “opting out after 2019” JDM current deal
“Swellopts” deal would have benefited Red Sox more, than JDM current 3 player opt-outs (!!!) Bosox contract
Hope he changes the contract landscape, this is such an improvement over regular contracts with player opt outs and nothing else
He’s not offering these extenders out of the goodness of his heart or for the good of baseball. He’s trying to throw in sweeteners for the teams without admitting to his players that he over promised (again) what kind of offers he’d secure for them. Rather than cut his asking price, which is what he’s actually doing, he gives his clients this mumbo jumbo in hopes they won’t realize what’s going on. Any player who stayed with Boras after last year deserves what he gets. There’s a reason he goes out of his way to avoid smart young GMs in favor of dealing directly with old codger owners. He is a dinosaur whose days are numbered.
You realize JDM’s contract is the exact same structure described above? If he gets hurt Red Sox can void the last two years of the deal. If he wants to leave he can after years 2, 3, and 4.
What’s your point
Boston cant exercise options to keep JD 2, 3+ yrs
JDM’s contract is one-sided. He’s opting out, after 2019, Red Sox don’t have any multi-year” club options to exercise, that would override, his player opt-out. “Turns out JDM had 2 player options, too many” hahaha
They originally gave him 2. They gave him a 3rd in exchange for the ability to leave the deal after the 3rd and 4th year. I think the multiple opt outs will encourage him to stay and leave after the 2nd opt out year. Hope we keep him, he’s an absolute stud
You could say they already got what they needed from JDM. If he opts out after next year, then they look for another outfielder, no big deal.
Joshua….”If he gets hurt Red Sox can void the last two years of the deal.” That is not quite accurate It”s only if the injury is directly related to his previous Lisfranc injury…..”
2021 and 2022 seasons become mutual options if Martinez has a Lisfranc injury or complication to his right foot causing him to be:
1) on the disabled list for 60 days or more in previous season, or
2) on the disabled list for 10 days or more in the previous season and 120 days or more in the two previous seasons combined, or
3) on the disabled list at the end of the previous season and found not able to play at the start of the next season
Boras is a visionary of a dystopian baseball world, where aging players suck the financial vitality from needy teams and divert dollars from the deserving to the done. Someone please drive a stake through his heart before he sucks the life out of our beloved game.
I nominate this for comment of the week. Well done.
Baseball has never been more boring and poorer, all due to Boras. He also controls the Fed and was the true Fiddler on the Roof.
Boras’ job isn’t to make the game better. That’s the commissioners job. Boras’ job is to get the most money for his clients. He’s very good at it. The fault of having aging players sucking the financial viability out of any team is sole on the GM and Owner of the team who agrees to the terms Boras sets. Sounds like teams need to plan for their future a little better
Oh yeah and I can’t stand Boras, just have to give the devil his due
Many owners/GM’s will not deal with Mr. Boras.
When they find that a player is about to become a Boras client, they’ll try to move him. That can be difficult as now other teams don’t want the guy. So teams have learned to work on a replacement for the player.
Many fans see Mr. Boras as Robin Hood – taking from the greedy owners and giving money to the oppressed players – many of whom can barley afford 2 upscale homes and 5 luxury cars. They do not realize that the cost of going to an MLB baseball game is out of the reach of most Americans, and that many of the name products they buy are artificially inflated to offset their advertising costs.
Then there are people like me……
We break down and take the kids and grandkids to a game once a year if they want – this year they want to go to an amusement park. We watch a lot of games on MLB.TV via the Internet – a years subscription is about the same as driving into town and parking; 2 tickets; some beer/sodas and snacks; then a light dinner at a restaurant. As for products, we exercise a lot. We find better quality athletic merchandise and clothing for less then half the price of Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, etc. as well as other national advertisers.
Mr. Boras is a linchpin in an ancillary professional sports economy. In his case – MLB. He found his sweet spot, my family has found ours. Players don’t care about their cities fans (they routinely make fun of us) and can take us or leave us. We feel the same about the local team.
Well said sir.
Player salaries have little to do with the cost of going to a game; teams are making more money off your internet and MLB.TV subs than they are from you even going to a single game in the season. Teams charge what the market will bear, which is just plain capitalism.
Most of the money made at a baseball game doesn’t leave the stadium. 40% of it goes to the visiting team. There are fixed costs for hosting a game – the ushers and grounds crew and electricity and parking attendants and security and ticket takers and…well, you get the picture. The beer and other concessions are generally leased out to companies and businesses (think Aramark or Sysco or other massive food-service companies) for a fixed fee, which is a relative pittance per game; maybe a thousand bucks or so per game per entity. Teams make their money through TV deals and MLB.com and such (teams each receive about 50 million a year just from MLB AM). Local TV deals are negotiated individually, so some teams, like the Yankees, have massive income from them while the Rays are the only team without a local TV contract, I believe.
If you think players don’t care about their cities fans, you didn’t watch David Wright’s or Joe Mauers’ final games this season.
Brett Andrson to LAA makes too much sense not to happen
Unless the Angels are looking to continue their streak of every starter getting hurt, I think Anderson is a bit too risky.
Very excited about Canning though. Hope to see him this year.
Amazing that I saw him open the season in High-A.
That would be another bad move for LAA. Already signed 2 starters that spend more time on DL than pitching hey why not another. LAA needs to spend the money on the bullpen since they have a starting staff of injury prone starters.
Phillies should kick the tires on Pence and see if he could platoon and provide veteran leadership.
Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are both seven year veterans.
That’s the kind of leadership the Phillies have a screaming need for.
Both of them. The Phillies have the money for both too. Where’s Mr. Stupid Money? That money is ours. Phillies fans generated all of it and John Middleton is stealing that money.
Neither one of those guys have an ounce of leadership in their body.
I hope the Phillies sign both Harper and Machado, it will be their ruination! Plus the rest of the teams won’t have to deal with either one of them for ten years!
Excellent use of the exclamation point!
If you think either Harper or Machado is a leader, you haven’t watched them much.
Another my owner is being cheap post. That makes a bakers dozen.
I been a huge Pence fan since Philly got him in 2011. Major class act and a great player. Wish him a lot of success
Agreed. First team that came to-mind is Atlanta on a minor league league. Have him compete for an OF job. They are young and can use a vet like him. Saw the San Fran video, he seems like a vocal leader a young team could use.
I’ve watched Hunter play in SF for the last few years. Yes, he’s a great guy. He’s also close to done as a player. He’s been close to done for about four years. I’d be curious how he redoes his swing since he’s got Scheuermann’s Disease that makes everything he does seem awkward, and was really quite successful with the previous swing. His issue is not the swing, but he’s slowing down due to age.
I wish him all the best but I wouldn’t rely on him to provide much more than comedy relief from the bench.
Boras is the best at what he does. Unfortunately being a money hungry slimeball comes with the territory but he’s very intelligent.
Boras is good at giving teams over the hill, injured, expensive players. He is good at making players rich for doing nothing.
James, the owners sign the contracts, and the GMs and owners, at this point should have access to thousands of data about how players age and how specific players age relative to other ones. And baseball is rolling in money; the players should be getting rich. This isn’t like the 1930s, when the best players in baseball had to barnstorm in the offseason or work a normal job to make ends meet.
I can see the Yankees signing Harper to a contract like this 5 years at around 33-36 AAV and if it works out for both sides use the swellopt for another 5 years at about the same or a bit more AAV
You know what I never see in comments?
“I can see the Phillies signing Harper to a contract….”
Unless the Spankees get rid of their facial hair policy there’s no chance Harper goes there.
Funny you say that considering Harper shaved his beard just in time for the Nats series against the Yanks this year! An obvious non factor.
I would rather want Jackson back than Anderson. Jackson pitched a lot better.
But if Jackson signs with the A’s, he sets himself back on his quest to play for all 30 MLB teams.
Pence. Haha dude is DONE.
I’d tend to agree. Would have been cool if sometime during the last 2 seasons when he was terrible and making 18 million dollars a season he would have taken the initiative to try and fix his swing.
It’d be nice but there’s no incentive when the player has guaranteed money. All the more reason to sign players one year at a time.
“swellopt” has got to be the one of the stupidest names anyone has come up with. It can’t stick.
Yo, 100% unequivocally believe the hate on Boras’ misguided
This “Swellopts” thing is a genius.
angels have one single player represented by boras. just signed harvey.
Boras should retire.
Sound advice from an internet troll!!
“how teams in the hunt”
I heard John “Stupid Money” Middleton is in the Federal Witness Protection program.
I need a database of all the weird things Scott Boras has said.
I don’t like the Britton signing for the Yankees, but they certainly have the money for it. I wonder what Cashman and Boone saw up close that would have made them go here that wasn’t necessarily apparent in his raw stats
Britton was lefty. Britton also had youth — youngest RP; Next season is his age-31 season. (Drob’s was age-34) Britton had a Mid 90 sinker, claims best groundball pitcher to his name. If these dont prove he keeps ball in park (stats below) nothing will.
Groundball Pct Leaders (min. 30 IP)
2018 – Zach Britton
2017** – Scott Alexander (**Britton 2nd)
2016 – Zach Britton
2015 – Zach Britton
2014 – Zach Britton
I anticipate Yanks exercising their end of the “swellopt” and Britton staying four years for $53M. Tricker, will be re-signing Chapman if he opts out after 2019. cost more.
I think signing Britton was a really good thing for the Yankees and he will probably round out a bullpen thats definitely top 3 hands down.
“swellpot” is a lot better than “swellopt”……..
MLB players aren’t really workers that fall under any category for labor protection laws.
They are competing contractors and should be subject to consumer protection antitrust laws.
Time for Machado to sleep in the bed that he made…
By now … all factors are known, time to pick which team will pay your bills.
What’s different about what he knew 2 weeks ago than from today … or will be 2 weeks, 4 weeks from today’s date?
Make a decision. Put your big boy pants on and accept an offer. They may not be “official” but pretty sure if he calls
Up anyone of the 3 teams linked, and says I want to play for “x” let’s get it done today … the deal gets done.
What is taking so long to decide? All
Signs point to multiple egos. Just get it done so the baseball world can move forward, no matter where you sign.
In the end,
I hope he signs a record deal
To play in Japan or the DR.
Why does he have to decide now? Who appointed you judge in this matter? Relax the decision isn’t yours and your opinion on when he signs is irrelevant.
Why doesn’t Boras ever get his clients muti year deals which only include team opt outs and come up with a fancy name for those. Surely if his clients are worth what he says they’re then the team will pick the option up every year.
As adorable as Hunter Pence is with his wife Lexi on her YouTube channel, it is undeniable that his game has struggled mightily since he began appearing on her web series.
Pence would flourish as a roving commentator for SF much the same as Dallas Braden has for the A’s. As a player his value is pretty much nil these days.
I definitely think someone should sign Pence because he is a gamer and he definitely has something left in the tank. Also you probably won’t find a better guy in the clubhouse because Pence is just that guy that gets everyone going. Maybe a team like the Indians will buy low on a guy like Pence that can start 60 or 70 games and be a great bat off the bench. At least if the Indians stand pat with their outfield right now.