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Scott Boras Criticized For Overplaying His Hand With Free Agent Clients This Offseason

Baseball agent Scott Boras is generating some heat for the way he has managed his free agent clients this offseason.

Outfielder Michael Bourn, right-hand pitcher Kyle Lohse and closer Rafael Soriano all have something in common – each is currently stuck on the free agent market.  Another commonality between the trio is that they are represented by Scott Boras of Boras Corp.  And in a recent New York Daily News article, Bill Madden wonders whether Boras has “overplayed his hand” with his lot of free agent clients, will be unable to find a “patsy” owner to bail him out and has finally, like Napoleon, met his Waterloo.

If history has anything to do with the way the cards fall, Boras will find a way to get his players healthily compensated.  However, Madden is not so sure.  He says a number of factors are working against Boras in 2013, including an alteration in the way that teams are compensated (through the receipt of draft picks) for the loss of free agents to other teams, the new method of docking the amount of money a team can spend on the subsequent draft as a result of a free agent signing and a lack of fear exhibited by teams willing to make $13.3 million qualifying offers to a number of players.

Madden provides a good example of how all these factors come into play:

“For instance: The Tampa Bay Rays get the Atlanta Braves’ first-round draft pick for losing Upton to them. That pick has been deemed to be worth $1.8 million, which will then be subtracted from the Braves’ overall allotment of a little more than $4 million (the bonus pool maximums have not yet been determined, but last year the Braves were at $4,030,000). So it’s a double whammy for the Braves — as well as all the other clubs who sign free agents that received qualifying offers from their teams.”

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.