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Mike Lowell Needs A Leverage Lesson

Mike Lowell loves playing for the Boston Red Sox whether they win the World Series or end up losing to the Cleveland Indians in Game 5 of the ALCS. It really says a lot about a modern day player who is not afraid to voice his candid opinion to the media. Most athletes who choose to go this route are covered due to their extreme outspoken personalities (see: Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson). Lowell is currently getting press for sticking by his current team and showing loyalty in the wake of becoming a free agent.

So what is so bad about that? There are definitely benefits of showing loyalty to your team (especially one that you truly want to stick with), however, by voicing those feelings to the media, Lowell is forfeiting a lot of his agent’s leverage in upcoming negotiations at the end of this season.

In response to a question about his feelings on A-Rod’s impending decision on whether or not to opt out of his current contract with the Yankees, Lowell said, “I love it here and would love to re-sign here. I’m making that clear.” [Lowell: ‘I love it here’].

Again, I think it is great that Lowell has those feelings. And in fact, he should express them to the world once he re-signs with the Red Sox (if he re-signs, actually). But while he is a free agent coming off the best statistical year of his career, he should probably keep those feelings to himself so that he may play for the team that he loves and make more money at the same time.

-Darren Heitner

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By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

4 replies on “Mike Lowell Needs A Leverage Lesson”

I think if Lowell really wants to stay in Boston, it is in his agent’s best interests to make it happen. While Lowell is forfeiting some leverage, he does so knowingly and with the goal of re-signing with Boston. I can see how this would be worse if he was a younger player, but there is a good chance that this is his last major league contract, and I do not think he needs the money after making $9 million a year for the past few years. Remember, don’t mess with happy and if he is happy in Boston and doesn’t need the money, a statement like this may allow both sides to come together more quickly.

Sure, but he’s also said he’d be interested in the Phillies if the Sox couldn’t re-sign him. Considering Philly’s desperate need for a 3B, I don’t think he’s giving up all that much leverage.

Refreshing to hear this from Lowell. This is probably way too idealistic, but any chance the outspoken loyalty creates any (even a little) leverage in negotiations? We’re loyal to those who are loyal to us.

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