You can be sure that Manny Ramirez wasn’t the only person in his camp disappointed when he was “only” able to get a two-year $45 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. You can bet that his agent Scott Boras was hurting, too. That’s because Boras was the one who orchestrated Manny opting out of his old deal with the Red Sox in the first place because that contract was done by Ramirez’s previous agent, so Boras never got a taste of the money. So he was trying to cash in on Manny while he still could.
Well apparently Boras has decided that he needs another way to get that money into his wallet, and it seems he’s chosen San Diego State’s Stephen Strasburg to do it for him. Strasburg has been making a mockery of the game while at SDSU during this time there, striking out 19.4 batters per nine innings, and is the consensus number one pick in MLB’s amateur draft this summer. That pick is held by the Washington Nationals, and if Boras gets his way, the Nats are going to need a mortgage on their new stadium to sign Strasburg.
From the WASHINGTON POST:
Reading between the lines of the Gammons note, Boras appears to be preparing to use Strasburg, the exceptionally talented San Diego State right-hander, as a way of exploding the “slotting” system with which MLB has tried — mostly unsuccessfully — to reign in signing bonuses for draftees. It also appears Boras will be attempting to equate Strasburg not with previous No. 1 overall picks (Mark Prior holds the record for the biggest contract ever awarded a top pick, $10.5 million in 2001), but Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Japanese import (and Boras client) who signed a six-year, $52 million contract with the Boston Red Sox before the 2007 season. Such a stance would almost certainly invite MLB’s involvement in the process and force a complete overhaul of the slotting system.
So it seems that Boras has learned absolutely nothing at all from this offseason and the Manny negotiations. Does he really think that teams that weren’t willing to give Ramirez — who is a sure-fire Hall of Famer — a large chunk of money are going to be fine with handing that kind of cash to a kid that’s never pitched in the big leagues?
In this economy?
Sure, Strasburg has an amazing arm, but we’ve seen way too many pitchers with amazing arms flame out before, and there’s no way in hell anybody is giving him $50 to do so, least of all the Washington Nationals. If I was Strasburg I might think about getting new representation so I don’t have to start my career already hated by my boss and with all the pressure of the world on my shoulders to win 30 games my rookie season. Now when I’m hitting free agency for the first time, that’s when I’m calling Boras.