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Does Scott Boras Ever Feel Conflicted?

I started reading the website HardballTalk a couple of weeks ago, after a partner at the law firm I am working at told me that it is one of his favorite places to go to find baseball information.  Since then, I have been hooked.  I especially enjoy it when Craig Calcaterra, a former lawyer, talks about legal issues.  One of his recent posts questions whether Scott Boras’ expansive client list ever creates a conflict of interest.  Apparently this is a subject that Calcaterra attempts to tackle every year.

At the time Calcaterra wrote his piece, Jayson Werth and Adrian Beltre were still free agents.  As Dan Furey pointed out yesterday, Werth is off of the market, after signing a contract that almost made Furey fall off his chair.  But Calcaterra did bring up an interesting general argument when it comes to Boras clients.

What happens if, in the course of a negotiation over Client A, someone on the Sox alludes to the fact that they’d prefer to spend money on Client B, or someone very much like him? I’m curious about how Boras handles that. I’m curious as to his explanation about how hitting the Sox as hard as he can in the course of a negotiation for one of his players doesn’t necessarily harm the interests of another who is obviously sought by the same team. One possible answer is that subordinates handle negotiations and are “walled off” from the man himself to keep things kosher, but I don’t think either Adrian Beltre or Jayson Werth hired Boras to be represented by a suboirdiante.

I also do not buy an argument stating that Boras does not handle his marquee clients’ negotiations himself.  This topic reminds me of a post that I published on May 8, 2009, which partly discussed David Dunn of Athletes First’s representation of Mark Sanchez and Kellen Clemens, who at the time was fighting with Sanchez for the starting quarterback role.  In the post, I quoted Mike Florio of, who wrote:

Every agent should want his client to be a starter — and should be doing everything he can to make the case for the player to start.

Clemens needs an agent who’ll be doing just that.  And Sanchez needs an agent who’ll do the same, especially since his contract will have a big-money one-time bonus triggered by participating in 35 percent of the snaps this year, of which Dunn will get a fee.

Dunn, however, has no choice but to keep his head low and his mouth shut.  So, neither guy will be getting the best possible representation.

It’s a conflict of interest.  And one of the two players should hire a new agent.

Should it also be said regarding Boras’ representation of free agent players at the same position?  While it may not be an issue of who is starting, it could come down to who is signed by what team and for how much money.

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.

3 replies on “Does Scott Boras Ever Feel Conflicted?”

next check out it’s sister site, profootball talk. Florio’s posts will be a real eye opener for you. you also will have the ability to mine the site for more rapid info to post on your site.

From what I’ve read about Boras, he probably doesn’t have a conscience that doesn’t have a dollar amount attached to it. He probably fights for the most money he can get for every single client–because he’ll get a cut of it.

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