878 Million. That is the amount of contract money that Scott Boras negotiated at this year’s Winter Meetings. The annual affair, held this year in Las Vegas, produced a number of megalithic deals all tied to the same illustrious super-agent. But why did this week in Sin City offer such a noteworthy haul for the three Scott Boras studs that were signed?
Let’s look at the players involved:
- Stephen Strasburg
In case you live under a rock, Stephen Strasburg was the World Series MVP this year, and rightfully so. But did you know that he’s the only pitcher to ever simultaneously it the batter, catcher, and umpire in back-to-back starts?
- Gerrit Cole
In 2019, Cole had perhaps the most dominant season since the new millennium (hats off to Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson). However, he has since suffered a critical hit to his baseball mojo – his Yankee haircut and shave makes him look like a thumb in pinstripes.
- Anthony Rendon
Rendon was truly sensational in the Nationals 2019 Playoff campaign. He deserves every dollar of his contract and will certainly manage it wisely (Rendon’s alma mater is Rice). But c’mon, the guy once said “I don’t watch baseball – it’s too long and boring.”
But I digress.
The serious answer, according to Boras himself, is a return to a more “traditional” approach to teambuilding. When questioned, Boras cited falling attendance numbers as evidence that fans simply aren’t buying into the new age of analytics:
“The fanbase in baseball has spoken about the models baseball is using, and that is these predicted models where they felt that the successes of teams were going to be measured by something other than I think the fans perception in the ballpark about who great players are…”
It’s worth noting that the figure Boras cited is from 2018, but his point may at least beg the question: are fanbases willing to watch the growing pains of young talent, or do they need marquee names to drive them to the ballpark? Boras continues:
“Teams who employ great players, veteran players, are being very successful…The need for them is something that the fans identify with; they want known commodities to go see. They want competition at the ballpark.”
Sure, Boras seems to be able to persuade people to pay his clients large sums of money in Major League conference rooms, but how does he far in the arena of public opinion? Is he right, wrong, or is he merely supporting a narrative that will ultimately benefit him financially? Let us know in the comments below!
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