So at about this time every year, right after the MLB Draft, Scott Boras emerges from his burrow, and if he sees his own shadow that’s another six months of negotiating with the No. 1 overall pick. In this case of course that would be San Diego State pitching prodigy Stephen Strasburg.
Sure, Boras usually uses his powers for evil instead of good, and probably has various pizza delivery guys and meter readers hanging upside down in his basement, where he feeds on their blood. But in this case, for once, could we cut him some slack?
Strasburg, whom the Nationals chose with the top pick overall, will command a $50 million signing bonus to join the Nats. That’s too much, right? It depends on who you ask. If you’re Ted Lerner, you’re doing the comical Redd Foxx fake heart attack bit right now. If you’re Boras’ wife, you’re counting money with an adding machine like Uncle Billy in that last scene of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Meanwhile, Nationals bloggers are taking a calm, measured approach.
That notwithstanding, Boras actually made a good case for Strasburg receiving an insane amount of money during an appearance with Michael Kay on ESPN Radio in New York on Wednesday. A couple of excerpts:
“We had a situation with J.D. Drew where the going rate for a draft pick was $2 million - J.D. Drew got $8 million. That was 1998 where the revenues were $1.8 billion in baseball. It has been over 10 years and the revenues have gone to $6.5 billion and yet only 2 players haveever gotten a bonus above J.D. Drew. I don’t think we need to apologize for Mark Teixeira, he certainly was worth every penny spend in the draft. An extraordinary talent like a Teixeira, he got the highest bonus ever in a draft, it did not in effect have an impact on any other player in the draft that have followed him even when the revenues in the game have gone up dramatically. You have those type of players that should be compensated at levels that exceed the customary draft pick because their talent requires it.”
“In looking at the baseball draft, we’re losing athletes to the NFL because they’re offering $30, $40, $50 million guaranteed in the 1st round to selected players. We’re losing players to the NBA as well. Consequently, what we have to do as a sport when we have extraordinary athletes, we have to make sure we stay on par because the risk factors associated with success for collegiate is frankly no different and maybe even better with baseball players than other sports.”
Boras haters should note that the New York Jets just gave $60 million to Mark Sanchez, who has never taken an NFL snap (but has already done a sexy GQ shoot). Of course a college quarterback is generally more of a proven commodity than a college pitcher, but not by much *cough!* Ryan Leaf! *cough!* And I won’t bring up Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer fee, wherein Real Madrid dropped two tons of gold into his backyard via helicopter. Ronaldo is probably one of the three best soccer players in the world, and, well, it’s Europe, where they have queens and castles and s**t.