During the offseason, Lohse’s agent, Scott Boras, reportedly advised his client to reject the Phillies’ three-year, $21 million offer, apparently under the belief that he could get a deal for five years at about $10 million per year. So how much did Boras’ ego and bad advice cost Lohse? It’s not entirely clear yet, because Lohse could earn more than $1 million in incentives, but it’s safe to say he lost about $15 million in guaranteed money . . . If I were Lohse’s attorney I would advise him to consider suing Boras for negligence.I agree that Lohse ended up way worse off than we all thought he would, but to say Wolf is jumping the gun is an insult to respectable gun-jumpers everywhere.
He starts out with a big assumption -- that Boras actually instructed Lohse to reject the Phillies 3/$21M deal -- that we don't know to be the case. For starters, we're not aware if there actually was an offer on the table in the first place. But let's say there was. Did Boras order that it be rejected? Did here merely suggest to Lohse that there was greater money to be had elsewhere? Did he fail to communicate the offer to Lohse? Did Lohse give him standing orders on how much money he wanted? Did Lohse tell him that he wanted the biggest deal he could get, or did he tell him that he really wanted to be in nice quiet city with a friendly media, which Philly quite cleary ain't?
All of those nuances matter, and whether Boras has breached any duty of care he owes Lohse changes depends on the answers to those questions. Wolf bases his assumption that Boras rejected the offer himself on this piece, but that only says that "that Lohse and agent Scott Boras rejected the Phillies' three-year, $21 million offer during the offseason." While we can suspect that Boras wasn't a wallflower in those conversations, who's to say that Lohse wasn't driving the bus on that rejection and acting contrary to Boras' advice?
Given Boras' background as an attorney -- and given how much we attorneys concern ourselves with backside preservation -- I'm fairly confident that Boars couches all of his advice in such a way as to put the decision in the player's hands, even if he's pushing for a certain outcome himself:
"It's totally up to you, Alex. Ultimately you're the guy who has to play ball and give quotes to the papers. I'm just a servant here. BUT -- and it's just my opinion -- I think the Yankees will blink and offer you a big deal if you opt out. Just tell me what you want me to do."In my mind, the only way Lohse has a case against Boras is if (a) Boras didn't tell him about an offer or somehow hid some information from him; or (b) if he guaranteed something, and I'd be really surprised if either of those things happened.
"Look Kyle, I know 3/$21M is big dollars, but if you look around at some of the crazy starter-money out there over the past couple of years, I have to think there's more to be had. Hey, this is your call, and if you want to take that Phillies offer, I'll pick up the phone and tell them we have a deal now."
Does that mean Boras did a good job? Heck no. I'd guess that even if he couches his advice in opinion as described above, his manner and reputation are such that many players put too much trust in him and/or feel like they have to do what he says. That's bad, and given what we know of Boras, I'd steer clear of him if I were a player.
But there's a big difference between bad advice and malpractice, and I'm quite certain that Scott Boras of all people knows the difference between the two.