The thrilling conclusion of the Yankees-Red Sox series, where Boston eliminated the Pinstripes, finalized the four teams that will participate in this year’s League Championship Series. Between each team, there’s a story that involves one person – the player’s representative – who’s responsible for piecing together some of Major League Baseball’s best rosters.
In celebration of the next and final stop of the postseason before the 2018 World Series, a pool of 75 players and their agents have been gathered to determine where each baseball agency ranks.
Unsurprisingly, Boras Corporation, run by no other than Scott Boras, takes the lead with 12 clients, or 16 percent, of the 75 players. Ballengee is a close second with eight. Out of the 21 players between Boras and TLA, a remarkable 9 of them are Astros ballplayers.
Boras Corporation – 12 Clients
Mike Moustakas (Brewers), Cody Bellinger (Dodgers), Hyun-Jin Ryu (Dodgers), Jose Altuve (Astros), Martin Maldonado (Astros), Dallas Keuchel (Astros), Gerrit Cole (Astros), Lance McCullers (Astros), Marwin Gonzalez (Astros), Jackie Bradley (Red Sox), J.D. Martinez (Red Sox), Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox)
About Boras Corp.: With nearly $2 billion in baseball contracts, Scott Boras doesn’t need very much other than people skills and an undying meter for success to bring in profit for his business. Focusing on just baseball, Boras Corp. has managed to sign other MLB clients, like Eric Hosmer and former MLB-er Prince Fielder to mammoth deals without breaking a sweat out of his Newport Beach, California, office.
Client Spotlight – J.D. Martinez (Red Sox)
Contract: 5 years, $110 million
2018 Regular season stats: .330 BA, .629 SLG, 43 HR, 130 RBI
Hoping to chase after Boras and Ballengee, is Excel Sports Management and TLA who each have six clients in this 2018 MLB Postseason. Following Excel is a two-way tie for fifth place between ACES and Wasserman. Like its name implies, ACES focus primarily on pitcher representation with a couple exceptions.
Over the span of the 14 players between Excel, ACES and Wasserman, 10 of them are from either Houston or Los Angeles. Unlike the Brewers, Red Sox players are well-distributed throughout the 27 agencies, including three under the Boras name, one with TLA and two at Excel.
Ballengee Group – 8 Clients
Heath Hembree (Red Sox), Tyler White (Astros), Tony Kemp (Astros), Ryan Pressly (Astros), Steven Wright (Red Sox), Hector Velazquez (Red Sox), Alex Verdugo (Dodgers), Jordan Lyles (Brewers)
About Ballengee: Ballengee represents an exclusive group of extraordinary athletes who are driven to be significant. The agency represents in special athletes who want to be more than difference makers on the stat sheet. The full-service agency aims to help their clients be well-rounded both on and off the field through a nontraditional approach that packages best-in-class athletic, contract, financial, legal, entertainment, publicity and life skills experts
Client Spotlight – Tyler White (Astros)
Contract: 1 year, $545,000
2018 Regular season stats: .276/.354/.533, 12 HR, 42 RBI
The Legacy Agency – 6 Clients
Jhoulys Chacin (Brewers), Carlos Correa (Astros), George Springer (Astros), Evan Gattis (Astros), Justin Turner (Dodgers), Yasmani Grandal (Dodgers)
About TLA: Recently, TLA has been undergoing some cosmetic changes in their baseball division, which includes the departure of agents Brodie Scoffield, Ed Cerulo and Steve Veltman. Greg Genske is the top dog at this agency, wearing many hats, such as executive director and lead negotiator. TLA also supports clients in both tennis and golf.
Client Spotlight – Justin Turner (Dodgers)
Contract: 4 years, $64 million
2018 Regular season stats: .312 BA, .518 SLG, 14 HR, 52 RBI
Excel Sports Management – 6 Clients
Rich Porcello (Red Sox), Andrew Benintendi (Red Sox), Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers), Joc Pederson (Dodgers), Walker Buehler (Dodgers), Corey Knebel (Brewers)
About Excel: As the No. 3 baseball sports agency on Forbes’ list, Excel boasts some pretty impressive agents to go along with its name, including baseball agent Casey Close, basketball agent Jeff Schwartz and golf agent Mark Steinberg. Though Schwartz has practically paved the path for Excel by negotiating over $1.7 billion in salaries, Close isn’t far behind with $1.2 billion.
Client Spotlight – Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers)
Contract: 7 years, $215 million
2018 Regular season stats: 9-5, 2.73 ERA, 161.1 IP, 155 SO, 29 BB
ACES Baseball – 4 Clients
Rich Hill (Dodgers), Alex Wood (Dodgers), Josh Reddick (Astros), Nathan Eovaldi (Red Sox)
About ACES: With their humble beginnings in Brooklyn Heights, NY, brothers Sam and Seth Levinson created Athletes’ Career Enhanced and Secured in 1985. Together, the duo have raised nearly a billion dollars via contract negotiations and have brought in commissions of nearly $50 million.
Client Spotlight – Josh Reddick (Astros)
Contract: 4 years, $52 million
2018 Regular season stats: .242 BA, .400 SLG, 17 HR, 47 RBI
Wasserman – 4 Clients
Kenta Maeda (Dodgers), Kenley Jansen (Dodgers), Max Stassi (Astros), Yuli Gurriel (Astros)
About Wasserman: Wasserman’s a very unique agency in terms of stretching beyond the stratosphere of player agents. The agency also concentrates on marketing – a service it calls Laundry Service – and has created tasteful ads targeted towards all walks of life. Adam Katz, executive president of Wasserman’s baseball department, has been around since 2006 and has also represented Sammy Sosa and Hanley Ramirez.
Client Spotlight – Kenley Jansen (Dodgers)
Contract: 5 years, $80 million
2018 Regular season stats: 1-5, 3.01 ERA, 82 SO, 17 BB
On the outside looking is the Brewers, whose majority of 17 players occupy the bottom percentile, which is indicative of an ill-experienced and undermined roster in terms of postseason play. Out of the 33 players who are represented by agencies with three-or-less clients, 13 of them are Brewers, like Travis Shaw (Pro Star Management) and Jesus Aguilar (MVP Sports Group).
The separation continues between the four, as there’s less and less Dodgers and Astros. In fact, 16 of the 23 remaining agencies in this article have one client each; the Red Sox and Brewers combine for 14 of those 16 players.
Three’s Company – Agencies with 3 Clients
MVP Sports Group: Ryan Brasier (Red Sox), Jesus Aguilar (Brewers), Manny Machado (Dodgers)
Octagon Baseball: Hector Rondon (Astros), Sandy Leon (Red Sox), Hernan Perez (Brewers)
Rep 1 Baseball: Manny Pina (Brewers), Kike Hernandez (Dodgers), Rafael Devers (Red Sox)
Player Spotlight – Hector Rondon (Astros)
Contract: 2 years, $8.5 million
2018 Regular season stats: 2-5, 3.20 ERA, 67 SO, 20 BB
The Power of Two – Agencies with 2 Clients
Hub Sports Management: Max Muncy (Dodgers), Chase Anderson (Brewers)
Independent Sports and Entertainment: Justin Verlander (Astros), Eduardo Nunez (Red Sox)
Jet Sports Management: Chris Sale (Red Sox), Brian McCann (Astros)
Beverly Hills Sports Council: Yasiel Puig (Dodgers), Ross Stripling (Dodgers)
Player Spotlight – Justin Verlander (Astros)
Contract: 6 years, $162 million
2018 Regular season stats: 16-9, 2.52 ERA, 290 SO, 37 BB
One’s Not the Loneliest Number – Agencies with 1 Client
All Bases Covered: Lorenzo Cain (Brewers)
BBI Sports: Ian Kinsler (Red Sox)
Bo McKinnis: David Price (Red Sox)
CAA Baseball: Ryan Braun (Brewers)
Pro Star Management: Travis Shaw (Brewers)
Pro Prospects: Curtis Granderson (Brewers)
Reynolds Sports Management: Matt Kemp (Dodgers)
Sports Management Worldwide: Joakim Soria (Brewers)
Jackson Management Group: Erik Kratz (Brewers)
O’Connell Sports Management: Wade Miley (Brewers)
Paragon Sports International: Christian Yelich (Brewers)
Lagardere: Brock Holt (Red Sox)
BASH: Mitch Moreland (Red Sox)
Double Diamond Sports Management: Jeremy Jeffress (Brewers)
SportsMeter: Corey Kluber (Red Sox)
Player Spotlight – David Price (Red Sox)
Agency: Bo McKinnis
Contract: 7 years, $217 million
2018 Regular season stats: 16-7, 3.58 ERA, 177 SO, 50 BB
Millions of dollars and many years later, this information demonstrates that each agent goes through different player experiences and vice versa. Not everyone can be a $50 million Josh Reddick. Jesus Aguilar of the Brewers, for example, is owed one-hundredth of a percent of Riddick’s salary, or just $570,000, yet Aguilar’s had a much more productive 2018 season.
In conclusion, these 27 agencies proves that not every ballplayer wants to be attached to the luxury that Boras, TLA or Wasserman offer. SportsMeter, the agency behind Corey Kluber, is a tightknit group with only 973 followers on Twitter, but they also take care of Francisco Lindor of the Indians. Frankly, pitchers will always be the highest-paid players, but the landscape is slowly changing to favor contracts of hitters.
Credit to MLB Trade Rumors, Baseball Reference, Spotrac, Forbes