You knew Scott Boras wouldn’t stay down for long. His declining media status was killing his insides. So what does he do? Boras Corp signs one of the hottest young players in the MLB, who just helped his team win a World Series Championship. At the end of last week, Jacoby Ellsbury dropped agent Joe Urbon for Scott Boras. Boras already had Jacoby posted up at a Boston mall selling autographs for $125 to $150 a pop by Sunday [Sign of the times for Ellsbury]. But why did Ellsbury switch now, and why away from Joe Urbon?
For one, many people call Boras the Drew Rosenhaus of baseball. This does not in any way reflect my personal opinion, but many say that both agents actively approach represented clients in an effort to “steal” them away from the competition. If this is the case, Boras does offer a pretty package to a potential client, which may be enough to woo him away from his current advisor. But I do not think this is the underlying reason.
Joe Urbon has made a lot of papers lately with his client. That client is not Ellsbury, and the star ready to shine may be unhappy with his lack of exposure after showing up big in the 2007 postseason. In fact, there are current negotiations for the Red Sox to trade Ellsbury to Minnesota in a large package deal that would send Johan Santana to Boston. Joe Urbon’s name has not really been involved in that story. Instead, Urbon’s name keeps showing up with a player who’s name may have to be in asteriks (not for steroid usage) when he plays in America next year.
Kosuke Fukudome is the hottest new overseas player to declare his intentions to play in the MLB [Report: Fukudome opts to play in Majors]. Urbon has been speaking on behalf of his Japanese client for the past few weeks, avoiding the press’s inquiries to whether Fukudome will be heading to the states for the 2008 season. All the while, Ellsbury may have felt that he was on the backburner, which is the last thing that a young, promising athlete wants to feel. Urbon may also have to go with Fukudome on a tour of MLB stadiums, further taking the agent away from his other clients.
Ellsbury may have not been the #1 guy with Urbon, and he definitely won’t be the #1 guy at Boras Corp. But he may feel that he will get more personal attention with Boras, a guy with a strong, proven track record.