Living in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan area as I do, I was privy to a different discussion this week than the typical Reds fan would be exposed too. We Reds fans take for granted the team that we have and while we wonder at what moves GM Walt Jocketty has up his sleeve, we can at least be comforted in the knowledge that Walt is not faced with dealing with the player talent agency known as the Boras Corporation.
I do not know Mr. Boras or Mr. Jocketty, I am a humble blogger far from the halls of baseball power, but I am confident that this arrangement appears intentional. And for good reason. Here in Pittsburgh, Mr. Boras just made a small fortune out of a couple of players he represented that will change the game for all of Major League Bbaseball in future contract negotiations.
Boras represented Gerrit Cole and Josh Bell who signed for a combined $13 million. They are the most expensive part of the most expensive draft class ever signed by a team in MLB history at $17 million. I do not know if Cole or Bell are worth the contracts they signed, but then neither do the Pirates front office, Mr. Boras, or even the players themselves. I am certain they have the talent necessary, but talent alone does not create a MLB player. That is left to hard work, good fortune, and then a generous helping of talent thrown in.
One need only look to the list of 1st round picks who never made it to the Show to understand this is not an exact science. Boras seems to have tapped into a strong understanding of what makes a great player but even he could not predict Stephen Strasburg would need TJ surgery after less than a season on the Nationals.
This brings me back to Walt and the Reds. I for one, am quite happy with the Reds choices. I believe Robert Stephenson is a good choice if he develops as projected. I have concerns with the idea of a kid out of high school getting a $2,000,000 bonus. Seems excessive even in a time of excess. Imagine if he was represented by Boras’ agency. Bell was drafted just 5 slots ahead of Stephenson and signed for $3 million more. Amazing.
Only four teams in the Major Leagues do not have anyone represented by the Boras agency with their respective franchises according to the MLBTradeRumors.com agency database. They are the Reds, the Houston Astros, the Minnesota Twins and the Toronto Blue Jays. All teams faced with the real challenge of competing against the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies with budgetary limits. I also notice that most of the marquis trades in the run up to the trade deadline involved Boras clients. Francisco Rodriguez, Michael Bourn, Shin-Soo Choo, and Carlos Beltran all are signed with Boras. He brings a certain intrigue to the game that I do not wish for the Reds to be entangled. Expect for all of the hype surrounding Albert Pujols contract, that Prince Fielder, another Boras client, will reap the more lucrative contract in the offseason. He has performed better this season than Albert and someone will pay for his services at a level unequaled in the sport is my guess.
The Reds seem to spend their money wisely. Certainly they make mistakes as every team does, but for the most part during Jocketty’s tenure I believe they have done well. In the end though, only time will tell.
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