Boras Doesn’t Play Defense

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The only reason I can think of for Francisco Rodriguez to have accepted the Brewers $8 million offer rather than go to arbitration is that K-Rod and his agent Scott Boras were told that if they went to arbitration and, as expected, were awarded something close to the $11 million+ he would probably have gotten, they would simply have released him. If that scenario came to pass, he’d have been completely helpless and gotten a fraction of that $8 million to pitch for someone looking for a bargain.

There’s no other logical explanation for the decision to take what amounts to a lowball offer for someone with K-Rod’s resume who’s not even going to be closing for the Brewers in 2012.

K-Rod’s hiring of Boras has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster.

First, he made the overtly stupid decision to hire a new agent in July just as the Mets were looking to dump K-Rod, his salary, his baggage and his onerous contract kicker that would’ve been activated if he’d finished 55 games—which he was well on the way to doing. K-Rod would’ve been paid $17.5 million in 2012 had he reached the incentive.

Then when the agent change was made, Mets GM Sandy Alderson acted swiftly and like a ruthless combination of a corporate lawyer (which he is) and a Marine (which he was) by dealing K-Rod before Boras had the chance to submit a list of teams to whom he could not be traded. The Brewers would’ve been one of those teams.

K-Rod, wanting his free agency, had Boras nullify the contract kicker even though it had been rendered moot when he joined the Brewers and was functioning as a set-up man for John Axford. His buyout on the deal had been $3.5 million, which the Mets paid. The Brewers added $500,000 and K-Rod was a free agent after the season.

But the market was flooded with closers leaving K-Rod and Boras scrambling. There were so many closers available, not enough landing spots, nor clubs with the money to pay them that he could either wait or take arbitration. Rather than do what his Boras agency stablemate Ryan Madson did and see if he could find a multi-year deal only to wind up taking a 1-year contract, K-Rod accepted the Brewers offer of arbitration.

At least Madson is going to close for the Reds. K-Rod’s going to spend another year setting up for Axford and he’s doing it for far less money than anyone could reasonably have expected given his accomplishments and far, far, far less than what he could’ve expected when he made the retrospectively stupid decision to hire Boras in the first place.


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