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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's A Slow Market For Boras Clients

Not surprisingly:
Felipe López is a 28-year-old journeyman second baseman who has a .262 career batting average. Two weeks ago, he quietly signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

That deal is noteworthy now because López is the only client of the agent Scott Boras who has signed a free-agent contract this off-season.

Boras, the game’s most prominent agent, is known for being patient in negotiations until the long-term, big-money deals appear. But two months into the off-season, nearly 20 other Boras clients who filed for free agency are still unsigned. That group — which includes Mark Teixeira, Manny Ramírez, Derek Lowe and Oliver Pérez — includes many of the most talented players left on the market.

The combination of Boras’s patience, team executives who are wary of the weakening economy, and the lack of movement in negotiations between Boras and teams for his premier client, Teixeira, has slowed the movement of the others.

It's time to remind everyone else that A-Rod didn't sign his earth-shaking deal with Texas until January 26, 2001. There's plenty of time to go on Teixeira; I've got February 1, 2009 in the pool.

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Recently, Teix was quoted as saying that he wanted his contract status resolved by Christmas. I commented (over at HH, I believe) that if he really felt that way, then he hired the wrong agent. Bora$ doesn't work that way. It's also apparent that Bora$ pretty much works for only one client at a time, strategically working to place each client in the most advantageous (i.e, $$$) place. Teix won't sign with the Angels, for example, because Bora$ wants Manny to play there instead. He may have miscalculated, though, because I don't think the interest is mutual, especially now that Rivera is back. Hence, there's probably only one place left for Manny - the Yankees - and I suspect that the Bronx is not Manny's first choice. Regardless, Bora$ will string this along for as long as he deems is necessary, regardless of the personal preference of any given player.
"It's time to remind everyone else that A-Rod didn't sign his earth-shaking deal with Texas until January 26, 2001."

Nope - he signed in early December (check out the date):

Interesting. I suppose that Sean Forman is basing his data on the Retrosheet database, which in turn is probably using actual ink-on-paper.

It would be hilarious if the high offer on the table by Christmas is the Nats'.
Looks like I'm wrong -- see above.

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