Scott Borass is all about Scott Borass. He can say he is just looking after his client’s best interests, but in a free agent market, the top free agents “set the market” and Borass said his top three free agents were worth $200 million dollar contracts. I drive a 2013 Ford F-150 which now has 94,000 miles on it. I take good care of my vehicles and it still looks like new and yes, I can put a $40,000 price tag on it, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth that. Someone might give me $22,000 for it, but $20,000 is more likely, no matter what I am asking. There might be a sucker who would pay more, but why?
It used to be Scott Borass could find a “sucker GM”and sell him a 2013 Ford F-150 for $40,000, but in the days of super analytics and sabermetrics, those “sucker GM’s” are now “advisors to the Chairman.” No names will be mentioned in the interest of protecting the guilty. I hear that KC has an offer of $147 million to Hosmer and I would say if that is true, he’s a fool for not making Borass take it. Arrieta and Martinez and Hosmer are not getting $200 million… nor should they. This is not collusion. It is common sense which is evidently not so common with Scott Borass.
The market is slow because of him asking for ridiculus amounts of money for his players. As soon as one signs, the others will follow and then the next tier of free agents will follow. The problem is that Borass is so ego-driven that he might hold his guys out for Spring Training and the MLBPA will be outraged that players are not being signed because the owners are “blah, blah, blah!” This is all on Scott Borass. There are other market issues at work as well, including:
- Several teams are standing pat this year as they want to be involved in next years FA class;
- A large number of teams are in varying stages of rebuilding and some are in the process of “tanking” like the Cubs and Astros did before their current success. No one can say this is wrong, because it does work;
- Teams are reluctant to dole out big FA contracts to players on the wrong side of 30 (L-Cain will be a really bad deal the last 2 or 3 years, but Milwaukee sees and opportunity to WIN NOW and to heck with the future); and
- The two teams with typically the biggest payrolls in basreball, namely the Dodgers and Yankees are determined to stay under the $197,000,000 Luxury Tax Threshold.
As it stands right now, well over one-third of the teams in baseball are in different stages of rebuilding and have no shot of winning. The other third have very little chance of winning and I would venture that (as the teams are constructed now) only the Nationals, Dodgers, Yankees, Astros and Cubs have a real shot of making it to the World Series. Out of 30 teams, 5 have a good shot, maybe 4 more have an outside (way outside) shot and the rest of the teams have no shot! That is not healthy for the game, in my opinion. The solution is to pay the young stars sooner (like the Bellingers and Seagers) and do it like the NBA does it: Your home team can pay you more than any other team can pay you.
Get the youngsters paid sooner and have max contracts that escalate with time. The MLBPA likely won’t agree and I think it will get contentious. Our own Kenley Jansenhas went on record threatening a strike. Here’s my message to Kenley:
“We love you as a closer, Kenley, but never miss a good opportunity to shut the hell up!” That was dumb… and wrong! You are way over-reacting. This is the market Scott Borass has created. Just play ball or you might seem like a whiney little (rhymes with “witch.”) Have a nice day!
Baseball may seem healthy to you now, but there are going to have to be changes to the game and the way players are paid. Players like Bellinger and Seager should not have to wait until they have 6 years of service to make bing money and then get paid for what they don’t do, like Carl Crawfish and A-Gon at the end of their contracts. Figure it out or you are going to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.
I can’t wait for Spring Training to start… but I guess I have to – they won’t start it early!
Photo courtesy of7-Pound Bag