Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Alvarez signing in jeopardy

Pedro Alvarez may not be a Pittsburgh Pirate after all.

Major League Baseball has placed the former Vanderbilt third baseman on the restricted list because Alvarez's agent, Scott Boras, informed the team that Alvarez would not sign the contract and wants it renegotiated.

The case has also been forwarded to the players union, and it's been reported that the union planned to pursue a grievance against the Pirates, claiming that Alvarez agreed to his contract after the Aug. 15 midnight deadline.

Pittsburgh said it was informed by Boras that Alvarez would not report to the Pirates until they renegotiated his contract and agreed to pay him more than the $6 million signing bonus to which he agreed.

Boras also said that the contract was agreed to after the deadline.

"This claim was not raised on the evening of the 15th when we informed Mr. Boras that Major League Baseball had confirmed that the contract was submitted in a timely fashion," the team said. "Mr. Boras asserted this claim several days later, after all of the draft signings had become publicized."

"Regrettably, we are not surprised that Mr. Boras would attempt to raise a meritless legal claim in an effort to compel us to renegotiate Pedro's contract to one more to his liking," the team said. "We are, however, disappointed that Pedro would allow his agent to pursue this claim on his behalf. "

The team also said it had been assured by the commissioner's office that its contract with Alvarez is valid, and that MLB "will vigorously defend any claim to the contrary."

It will be interesting to see how this saga plays out, although I'd rule out the possibility of Alvarez returning to school.

UPDATE: Thanks to NY Dore of for alerting me to this message to Pedro Alvarez by John Brattain of Baseball Digest Daily. Here's an excerpt from this critical piece on Alvarez's agent, Scott Boras:
Scott Boras has been trying to find loopholes in the draft for over 20 years–he has been playing a cat and mouse game, or better still, a game of poker with MLB for self-enrichment.

Boras is a multi-millionaire but you’re the one spotting him chips for this particular hand–he is gambling with your money … with your career.

Boras has had a lot of setbacks in recent years–Alex Rodriguez dumped him last year, he has a losing record in arbitration cases and the new draft rules cramp his style and teams are able to handle him more effectively. This isn’t about you; it’s about Boras and his stature in MLB and the agent business.

Go online, Google your name and check out what folks are saying about you–it ain’t pretty. You have a good start at becoming the game’s next pariah–or at the very least the next favourite target of the boo-birds. All for the sake of half a season of the major league minimum; a total you can double by reaching the major league a year earlier by getting your career started as expeditiously as possible.

You’re a pawn in Boras’ game. It isn’t about the commission on the $200,000–it’s about his ability to say he got his client the largest bonus in the draft, it’s about testing the boundaries of the rules surrounding the draft, it’s about finding and/or creating a loophole that he can use for future clients.

Not you.

You’re just the sucker he’s duped into playing along in his little game.



Tony Arnold said...

This stinks. I wish Pedro had found a better agent. These things rarely work out well for the player.

Aram Hanessian said...

If i was an agent i'd pick boras, his mistakes are easily outweighed by his successes. For every Matt Harrington there are dozens of Luke Hochevar's who held out and wound up the #1 pick.

Tony Arnold said...

I have to agree with John Brattain.

Pedro is too nice of a guy to get this kind of rep.