Two aging stars, Manny Ramirez and Kurt Warner, signed contracts in the first week of March, but that is where the similarities between the two end.
In actuality, now that everything is settled, the contracts are more of an indication of the kind of jobs agent Scott Boras and agent Mark Bartelstein did for their clients given the circumstances of the players and teams.
Ramirez’s agent Boras had been lobbying hard for a longer deal and an increase in salary for his client. He wanted around six years and $20-25 million per year. And the Dodgers clearly needed Ramirez throughout free agency after he initiated a resurgence of the team and the city following his trade from Boston. So how did Boras whiff on getting a better deal (and the answer is not the economy)?
While on the other hand, Warner’s agent Bartelstein started off in a difficult position as Warner stated the only other option other than re-signing with Arizona was retirement. But Bartelstein used the media and a trip to the 49ers to leverage a two-year $23 million deal that is more in Warner’s favor.
Boras spent time using his tricks and ploys, chipping away at Los Angeles owners Frank and Jamie McCourt and GM Ned Colletti, but the Dodgers refused to budge. A week after the Dodger’s initial offer of two-years $45 million in the beginning of November, Boras issued the statement, “On behalf of Manny Ramirez, we will, for the first time, begin accepting serious financial offers on Friday.”
Throughout the process, Boras was unable to solicit an offer from another team to pressure the Dodgers and four months later, Ramirez has a $0 increase from the first two-year $45 million offer.
In fact, according to Fox Sports’ Mark Kreigel, the present day value of Ramirez’s deal is actually $1.5 to $3 million less than the original Dodger offer.
At the end of last month, Bartelstein told the media that his client deserved to be paid among the top five quarterbacks in the league. The final deal fell short of that number, which according to Bartelstein is $14.5 million, but he managed to get an increase from the $10 million per year the Cardinals were first willing to pay and Warner still has the luxury of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin.
Plus, Warner was never going to leave in the first place, already entrenched in Arizona with his family and happy with the situation with the Cardinals. He probably didn’t want to retire either, after having one of his most successful seasons in a few years. The meeting with 49er brass was a smart move to push negotiations along and find a suitable deal for both parties.
Bartelstein didn’t have much to work with, but he still coerced Arizona to up the offer. Everyone has their off days, and this time around, Bartelstein just flat out beat Boras.