The Boston Red Sox and Scott Boras have a history.
As Ben Cherington and the Red Sox enter the nitty-gritty side of the offseason, where the goodwill from their World Series championship is waning and all attention is turning to contracts, Boras is once again occupying a head seat at the negotiating table.
Shortstop Stephen Drew, represented by Boras, turned down Cherington’s $14.1 million qualifying offer and is now reportedly on his way out of Boston for the greener, multiyear pastures of free agency. While some Red Sox fans may be quick to blame Boras for pushing Drew toward more lucrative options, Jackie Bradley Jr. — a fellow client — is quick to say that’s not the case.
“It’s a misconception that he tells a player what to do,” Bradley told Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. The 23-year-old outfielder made $490,000 last year in 37 games with the Red Sox.
“When I came out of college,” Bradley continued, “Scott gave me the information and I decided what I wanted to do. I have a good time talking to him because he knows a lot of people and a lot of different things. If you want to know what’s going on, he’ll tell you.”
The 61-year-old Boras is without a doubt the most successful agent in professional sports history. He was the first agent to negotiate contracts of more than $50 million and $100 million, as well as Alex Rodriguez‘s $200 million contract — which, after incentives and bonuses, may total in excess of $300 million. Drew and Bradley aren’t Boras’ only Red Sox clients, either — he also represents Xander Bogaerts and Jacoby Ellsbury, as well as minor leaguer Mark Hamilton.
Despite his success as a contracts negotiator, Boras told the Globe that sitting down at the table isn’t his favorite part of the job.
“I enjoy evaluating players the most,” he said. “I enjoy watching them play and helping them take on the game psychologically.”
Though Boras’ image as a hawkish dealmaker isn’t going anywhere, he insists that “helping [the players] play well is the most fun. The negotiating part, not as much.”
There’s having fun and there’s making money. Boras appears to be doing both.