Scott Boras of Scott Boras Corp, Certified MLB Agent
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Sports Agent Profile
Agent: Scott Boras
Certified MLB Sports Agent
Boras started his career as an agent by representing his former minor league teammates just as they were about to enter the major leagues. Boras's first multi-million dollar contract, a five-year, $7.5 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, was for his former teammate Bill Caudill; Caudill had to retire three years into the deal, at the age of 31, due to arthritic shoulders.
Today, Scott Boras runs the Scott Boras Corporation, where he employs former major leaguers as scouts in Asia and Latin America. He has continued to negotiate deals for many of Major League Baseball's high-profile players in recent years, including Barry Bonds, Bernie Williams, and Alex Rodriguez; as of 2005, Rodriguez's deal, for $252 million over 10 years, is still the most expensive contract in U.S. professional sports.
Signing bonuses and the amateur draft
Several Scott Boras Corp clients were prominent in the 1996 draft. Boras found a loophole that granted free agency to four top first-round picks: Matt White, Travis Lee, John Patterson, and Bobby Seay. He was able to get White a $10.1 million deal from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays; White has never reached the major leagues, however. Seay, who signed with the Devil Rays for $3 million, was a reliever with the Tampa Bay for four seasons and is now with the Colorado Rockies. Lee, a star with Team USA in the 1996 Summer Olympics, has been a solid backup for several teams, while Patterson is now a middle-of-the-rotation starter for the Washington Nationals.
J.D. Drew was another Boras client whose original team could not sign him. Scott Boras's demand was an $11 million contract from the Philadelphia Phillies; the Phillies' offer was $3 million. Drew ended up having to hold out, playing the rest of the season in the independent Northern League. Drew re-entered the draft the following season and signed with the St. Louis Cardinals for $8 million.
J.D. Drew's brother, Stephen Drew, and Jered Weaver (the brother of pitcher Jeff Weaver) were two Scott Boras Corp clients drafted in 2004 who held out almost long enough to re-enter the draft in 2005. Both ended up signing without having to reenter the draft, but neither could play professional baseball during the year that they were drafted due to their holdouts.
The one problem with negotiating long term contracts at apparently inflated wages is the larger probability that the client will not produce equivalent to what they are being paid. Some contracts have hamstrung teams for a few years when their contracted player gets repeatedly injured. Perhaps one of the most intriguing deals Mr. Boras worked out was between Kevin Millwood and Cleveland Indians general manager Mark Shapiro in 2005. Mr. Boras agreed to several performance clauses that would reduce his client's salary if he missed playing time due to arm problems. This injury clause protected a small market team like the Indians from getting value relative to what they were paying for. Kevin Millwood would end up winning the American League E.R.A., a spectacular pitching addition for the Cleveland Indians.
Another one of Scott Boras' agents scored a huge contract on December 20, 2005. Johnny Damon decided to leave the Boston Red Sox and sign with the New York Yankees. Boras negotiated a four-year-$52 million deal for Damon.
His list of major clients has included some very famous names:
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