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.
8 replies on “Bartelstein bests Boras in recent deals”
I’m sure you’re just trying to get all of the Boras defenders to call you out on this, but you can’t really be serious, right?
Warner signs for 11.5 M a year and Manny signs for 22.5M a year and Warner gets the better deal?
The dollar amounts are irrelevant. Baseball is a completely different economic sport compared to football. I was merely making a comparison between how Boras handled the situation and how he played the market to how Bartelstein managed Warner’s situation and got a gain out of it. Obviously $22.5 mil is more than $11.5 mil, but Bartelstein got his client more money, while Boras lost money by waiting so long.
I strongly disagree with this post and would, in fact, argue the opposite position: that Boras served his client better than Bartlestein.
Reports throughout free agency were that the Cardinals wanted to pay Warner approximately $10 million per year, while Warner was looking for $12+ million per year, with some writers claiming that he was looking for a two-year, $28 million dollar deal. John Clayton reported that he wanted $14-16 million per year: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3927171&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines).
Warner publicly stated throughout the duration of free agency that he only wanted to play in Arizona. Bartlestein attempted the Boras tactic by shoping his client to other teams, but his signing with San Francisco was never a possibility. In the end, he only got Arizona to $23 million, with a lot of guaranteed money. A great contract.
Here’s why Boras’ contract is better: there was never a serious second contender for Manny Ramirez. There were reports that San Francisco was interested in Ramirez, but nobody in baseball really thinks that they were serious about signing Manny. Teams that needed him — like the Angels or Yankees — never considered the move. There was no second team for Ramirez, the Dodgers were not outbidding anyone, and yet Boras still got $45 million for his client. The Dodgers opened the bidding at this number and were reportedly willing to beat any offer. But there was never another offer to beat. Boras championed Ramirez’ skills, was firm on his market value, and ended up getting Ramirez the money he deserved, despite not competing against a second team.
Other teams would have signed Warner, and were interested in his services, but nobody made a serious bid for Ramirez. Yet, Boras still got $45 million, proving once more why he’s the agent every baseball player wants.
Well, aren’t you trying to compare two completely different negotiations and surrounding curcumstances? Bartelstein had another bidder for Warner and he parlayed that leverage into more money. Boras found no other serious bidder for Manny.
Your cheap shot at Boras is nothing more than pointing out that you, as an agent, have more leverage if there is another team in the picture bidding up the price of the player. I find it hard to believe that the situation you describe above leaves Bartelstein as a superior negotiator in this circumstance. You’re merely trying to compare apples to oranges and declare oranges the victor based on your own subjective criteria.
Also, can you point me to the article where Kreigel gives the NPV of the deal now as compared to the deal that was offered back in November? All I can find is the article where he states that the money offered in November was also deferred.
Boras also had teams afraid of underpaying Manny and dealing with the similar problem that Boston faced when Ramirez became disgruntled. His $45 mil is not outrageous, it’s also nothing to scoff at, but since it’s not outrageous (i.e. Alex Rodrigues’ deal that saw the Yankees blow everyone away) is why he didn’t do a great job.
Here’s the link: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9289376/How-did-McCourts-beat-the-mighty-Boras?
Bartelstein created another bidder for Warner. Arizona was the only place that had a chance to sign him. That’s why he did a better job. You’re telling me Boras couldn’t create some kind of scenario that had him going to another team and caused the media to go crazy and the Dodgers to re-think their offer. If the Dodgers didn’t sign Ramirez it would have been a huge blow to the organization. Boras couldn’t find some way to scare them into paying more money sooner? He’s done it in the past.
The link doesn’t say what you said it says. The report was that the original offer included a good bit a deferred money, too.
The report does say that the NPV is less than 45 million, but it doesn’t say that it is between “1.5 to 3 million less than the original Dodger offer.”
So explain to me again how Boras cost Manny money? Seems to me that the market collapsed this year and yet, somehow, despite no other serious bidders for Manny, Boras still managed to pull off $45 million over 2 years. The Dodgers probably could have dropped their offer and still would have had the highest bid. Seems that Boras probably did a nice job keeping the same dollars on the table from back in November. Many baseball players weren’t so lucky with the offers that were once on the table way back at the beginning of the off-season (see Randy Wolf).
And did Bartelstein “create” another bidder, or was there actually another bidder?
“Except it’s not really $45 million; it’s less than that. Depending on whom you believe, the present-day value of this contract (present value being the hot new stat for baseball geeks) is worth between $42 million and $43.5 million.”
Randy Wolf isn’t Manny Ramirez. It’s arugable that Manny is worth $45 mil, but not getting more, which Boras clients usually do, is the difference.
And you don’t think Bartelstein meeting with a division rival didn’t have some kind of meaning behind it. I’m sure the 49ers had an interest, as I’m sure other teams did too, but the Cardinals also had an interest in the 49ers having an interest.
So, the offer he signed is less than 45 million, but the ORIGINAL offer was also “less” than 45 million if you do the NPV on it since money was also deferred in the ORIGINAL offer.
Are you deliberatly being difficult on that point, or do you not understand that the original offer also contained deferred money?
And do you not see that the 2/45 deal Manny received was grossly more than anyone else offered him? From the stories that were out there, he didn’t have any other offers. Sounds like Boras pulled off a heist to keep the Dodgers at 2/45. Look around at the other deals that were handed out around baseball for corner outfielders. No one else came close to getting what Manny got.