Ah, the life of a super sports agent. You've seen Jerry Maguire, right? Show me the money! Tom Cruise's Maguire wanted to change the industry with his mission statement, but still had to bring the 'Quan' to Cuba Gooding, Junior. All real-life icon Scott Boras had to do, it seems, is just go to work in San Diego for a few days.
San Diego was the site of Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings, where agents, general managers, and other brass from upper management come to presumably make deals. Last year's meetings in Las Vegas were a dud from a fan and media standpoint, but Boras wasn't about to let that happen this time. He did get 330 million dollars for Bryce Harper, but that came later.
Before the flights to sunny southern California took off, Boras got the Cincinnati Reds to agree to a four-year, 64-million dollar deal with infielder Mike Moustakas. Not exactly a big name or a big deal (believe it or not in this day and age), and no one knew at the time that Boras was just getting warmed up. Reporters, GMs, and others straggled in to San Diego Sunday night. Monday through Wednesday was the busy time, some morning business Thursday, and then back to the cold weather markets for many of them. Each had a lot to talk about when they got home.
Monday, the Washington Nationals announced that they had agreed to keep World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg in the nation's capital. The terms? Seven years and 245 million dollars. In terms that some baseball people don't like to hear, that was an opener. The biggest prize on the board was Gerrit Cole. The Orange County native, who went to UCLA, was believed headed to the Angels or Dodgers. It was announced on Tuesday that Boras got Cole nine years and 324 million dollars with...wait for it...the New York Yankees.
Spurned by the much coveted Cole (20-5, 2,50 ERA, 326 strikeouts in 2019), the Angels instead went for the biggest hitter on the market. Right around midnight Eastern Time, when MLB Network went to re-running their earlier coverage, ESPN announced a seven-year, 245 million dollar deal, the same money Strasburg got, for third baseman Anthony Rendon.
If you were trying to count on your fingers, Strasburg, Cole, and Rendon add up to $814 million. All three are Boras clients. Whatever Quan is, that's a lot of it. Add Moustakas in and you get 878 million. Assuming the agent gets ten percent (it's likely not really quite that much), you get in the neighborhood of 88 million dollars for a week's work. And yes, that's a very nice neighborhood.
Boras might be enjoying the good life, but his work isn't done. Clients on his list who are still unsigned are infielder/outfielder Nick Castellanos (think Moustakas but younger and with more versatility), and pitchers Dallas Keuchel (went unsigned until June this season because a team would have to forfeit a draft pick to sign him. That's not the case this year.) and Hyun-Jin Ryu (14-5, 2.32 ERA, Cy Young runner-up with the Dodgers).
Boras is 'just' 122 million dollars away from reaching a billion dollars for his players, and should exceed that with ease. Ryu alone should get that and more, although there doesn't seem to be a lot of media buzz surrounding him right now. A wild guess, but let's put Castellanos down for about 80 million, and maybe Keuchel for somewhere in the low nine figures. Jerry Maguire may have had 'Show Me the Money', but for Scott Boras, it's the Billion Dollar Bonanza.
Non-Boras moves: It's hard to believe, but not all players are represented by Boras. Over the weekend, pitcher Madison Bumgarner agreed to a five-year, 85 million dollar deal with Arizona (which means both Giants and Dodger fans can now dislike him), outfielder Avisail Garcia (great average, little power) has reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with Milwaukee, and Cleveland has sent pitcher Corey Kluber to Texas (Dodgers reportedly tried to get him last year) for Delino DeShields, Junior and a minor leaguer. Oh yeah, the Dodgers (who were going to “shake things up”, Remember?) signed reliever Blake Treinen (unhittable in 2018, horrible in 2019) to a one-year ten million dollar contract.
Ouch!: The Dodgers were reportedly in on Cole, and then, like the Angels, turned their attention to Rendon after Cole chose the Yankees. In Rendon's introductory news conference in Anaheim Saturday, the Texas native said he chose the Angels over the Dodgers because he didn't like “the Hollywood lifestyle.” He quickly added that it was nothing against the Dodger players, but with his two year-old girl and pregnant wife on stage, he said that lifestyle “wasn't for him.” That's going to leave a mark.
Raiders Nation ends on sour note: Even Raider Haters had to feel bad. The Oakland Raiders lost their last-ever game at the Oakland Coliseum on Sunday, falling to the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-16 after leading 16-3 at halftime. Many of the 52,788 fans booed quarterback Derek Carr after the final gun, but also stayed late and held signs saying things like 'Thanks for the Memories'. The team is moving to Las Vegas next year.
Digger rocks Walton's World: Saturday's UCLA-Notre Dame basketball broadcast on ABC really had nothing to do with this season, but that was okay. The Fighting Irish easily handled the Bruins 75-61 in 2019 (the last currently scheduled meeting between the two teams), but all the talk on the air was about 1974. Joining play-by-play man Dave Pasch, were analysts Bill Walton and Digger Phelps. Phelps was the coach of the Notre Dame team that beat UCLA 71-70, and ended the Bruins NCAA record 88-game winning streak. If you've heard Walton on the air before, you know how he can dish out barbs and funny lines. The 78 year-old Phelps could dish it right back and thensome. Great stuff.