I like to complain about how Scott Boras has conflicts of interest with many of the players he represents because he represents so many players. Sometimes what is in Boras’ best interests isn’t in the best interests of the specific player he is representing. Tagg Bozied is an example I wrote about relatively recently.
Even so, everyone knows, or should know, that no one has a better record than Boras at getting top dollars for top players. Also, it isn’t Boras’ fault that a lot of the players who select Boras to represent them aren’t really as good as they imagine themselves to be.
The thing I have to give Boras credit for today is his creativity. He is obviously an extremely bright guy who spends a lot of time thinking about new ways to get the best deals for his super stars.
Today, Boras and the Milwaukee Brewers negotiated a win-win for the Brewers and Francisco Rodriguez. The Mets just traded K-Rod and the rest of his 2010 salary to the Brute Crew (glad to see that sobriquet applies again) for a box of cracker jack — the esteemed players to be named later — in order to get out from under the $17.5 million the Mets would have had to pay Rodriguez if he finished 21 more games this season.
The Brewers can’t afford to pay a closer that kind of money, even for only one year, so their plan was to make K-Rod a set-up man for John Axford, who in fairness deserved to continue as the Brewers’ closer. However, under the new deal the Brewers can have K-Rod close as many games as they desire, and rather than having the 2012 option vest after however many games finished, the Brewers must pay Rodriguez $4M if they elect not to exercise the $17.5M 2012 option.
Under the prior terms of the contract, the Mets had to pay K-Rod $3.5M if he failed to meet the automatic vesting requirement and the team elected not to pick up K-Rod’s ridiculously expensive option.
The deal is obviously fantastic for the Brewers. For only $500,000 more, they can now ride the hot hand or play match-ups with Rodriguez and Axford. That’s a bargain luxury for a team half a game out of first place as I write this.
Why did Rodriguez (Boras) agree to give the Brewers such a sweetheart deal? The answer is obvious and has already been reported. While it’s hard to walk away from a guaranteed $17.5M, the Brewers were holding the cards, and more importantly, Boras is certain he can get K-Rod even more guaranteed money in a longer term deal this off-season while K-Rod is still young (he’ll be 30 in 2012) and effective.
If Rodriguez pitches well for the Brewers, and particularly if he pitches well and helps the team make the post-season, he (and Boras) will be amply rewarded in the off-season.