The Tigers were able to nab uber-prospect Rick Porcello late in last year's draft by paying him like he was the #1 pick. So long as there is no mandatory slotting system (Union would NEVER agree to this) and no penalty for ignoring the "guidelines" suggested by MLB, the wealthier teams will continue to make a mockery of the draft. I think this is a great strategy for these teams.Today, USA Today profiles Eric Hosmer, the very player that Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Florida, and Tampa Bay should snag in the event they have the good sense to listen to Jason's advice:
The truth is, any team can do this, but few do. The cost to overpay for talent before it really blossoms is much less than trying to pay for it once it does. Also true is the fact that "can't miss" prospects do miss sometimes. But for teams like Pittsburgh and Kansas City and Florida and Tampa Bay, it might make fiscal sense to spend a bit more early than choose a lesser player to save some money. Given the amount of money these smaller market teams are receiving from Revenue Sharing and Luxury Tax payments, this seems an area to be investing those payments.
Hosmer's hitting became prodigious — his home runs are youtube.com hits — and scouts noticed. The Boras Corp. noticed, too. Boras representatives approached the Hosmers between Eric's sophomore and junior years. The Hosmers knew Boras' reputation. They listened to what the reps had to say.You can pretty much bank on Hosmer signing with Boras. For all of his recent bad press, Boras' presentation is impressive, and he can offer players the best of both worlds: big money and a place in a rich, winning organization by virtue of the scare tactic he has unleashed on those high-pick teams too stupid to take advantage of the system as it is currently constructed.
"There were concerns," Mike says. "We addressed those when they made their presentation. Their presentation was jaw-dropping. Their guidance and support has been amazing."
Says Eric: "Half the other people we listened to spent most of their time telling us why we shouldn't go with the Boras Corp. What impressed us the most is that they are behind my decision either way."
The Hosmers haven't reached a decision on Eric's future. College or signing with a MLB team are possibilities. "We're going to meet with the Boras Corp. a week before the draft, and we will discuss what Eric's value on the market is," Mike says. The Boras Corp. can offer advice but advice only. Hosmer retains his amateur status as long as he doesn't accept money or sign a contract.
The family reads the Internet. Message-board posters write that Hosmer will fall in the draft because he, in conjunction with Boras, will ask for big dollars.
Ultimately, baseball will have to deal with its broken draft. Until then (a) all's fair in love and war; and (b) Eric Hosmer will likely be playing for the Gulf Coast Yankees this summer.