Boras was recently quoted as saying:
“Like any players, they want to play baseball. But they’re also looking at the long-term aspect of their careers. This system has placed them not in free agency, but it’s placed them in a jail.”
I’m sorry, but did Boras suggest that players are in jail? Let me see if I understand what he is saying. Nelson Cruz is getting paid $8 million to play a kid’s game and he is in “jail”? I’m guessing there are a few people in actual jail that would happily trade places with some of these “poor” free agents.
The fact that Boras said this shows how detached he is from the hardworking people that pay for tickets every season. Morales can sign with any team he wants. That is the textbook definition of free agency. In addition, please don’t give us this rhetoric about how “they want to play.” If this was about the love of the game, Morales would have accepted Seattle’s one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer when it was issued.
Mr. Boras doesn’t like the current system, which allows teams to issue these qualifying offers and receive draft picks if those players sign with other teams. Most players turn down these offers and take their chances on the open market. Because baseball still has no salary cap and because many teams can’t seem to exercise self-control, average players continue to get big contracts.
That said, some players are not getting paid, including Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew. It is almost as if teams are realizing that they don’t need to be held hostage by agents like Boras. Imagine that.
Morales can still play, but teams are playing hardball (no pun intended) on certain multi-year contracts, rather than simply agreeing to Boras and his outrageous demands. Perhaps baseball is actually learning from the NFL and curbing their spending.
In the end, Morales may get signed and Boras can add to his wealth. Boras will continue to suggest that baseball free agency is the free market system at it’s best. However, the game continues to be unbalanced because agents like Boras drive up prices and keep the marquee players funneled towards the big-market teams.
The Mariners spent big money on Robinson Cano, but this was a desperate move brought on by years of salary escalation. Boras may not like the system, but in many ways he is responsible for it. Aspects of the current system were built specifically to control agents like him.
Boras also stated:
“The integrity of the game is at hand here,” Boras said. “Clubs are refusing to employ premium free agents for their true market value because of an artificial, collectively bargained process that does not help the game or the fans’ perception of the game. These players earned their free agency and played at very high levels to get it.”
Integrity? Really? This isn’t about integrity. This is about clubs that are sick of paying millions of dollars for players that do not always deserve those salaries. If Mr. Boras wants integrity, then perhaps “premium” players that decline after signing these mega-deals should give some of the money back. In addition, how about we let actual fans decide on their own perception of the game?
Face it, Mr. Boras. You gave your client, Mr. Morales, some bad advice this time.