Friday, August 8, 2008

Boras and Hosmer

Back in April I linked a USA Today profile of Eric Hosmer, a high school slugger many considered to be the top hitter in the draft. At the time the story was whether or not he'd sign with Boras, which he did, and whether outrageous bonus demands would scare away the small revenue teams from drafting him, which they did not.

Kansas City drafted him, and to no one's supreme surprise, Hosmer remains unsigned a week before the deadline. The Star's Sam Mellinger brings us up to date on the negotiations and why, in this instance, Scott Boras may be risking a bit too much in threatening college over a future with the Royals:
From Hosmer's perspective, it's hard to improve much on being the third overall pick. He's guaranteed millions right now and the opportunity to get his pro
career started immediately.

No matter what kind of potential Boras sees in going to college (and Boras has been successful in the past steering guys away from signing what he thinks are low deals) there is always the possibility of injury or even having a terrific college career that just doesn't warrant being the No. 3 pick in three years . . .

. . . There's also a remote chance that the CBA could be renegotiated to include a slotting system by the time Hosmer would be eligible again for the draft.

And from Boras' perspective, he doesn't need one more reason for people to view him as baseball's lord of darkness. He is the best in the business at getting top dollar for his clients, but his stature in the eyes of some has fallen a bit in recent years as he's been dumped by some key clients and blamed (fairly or not) for Manny Ramirez's ugly breakup with the Red Sox.

If he steered an 18-year-old kid away from a multimillion dollar payday, it'd be one more thing on the list.
Good points all. The one I'd worry about the most would be a CBA alteration that institutes a binding slotting system. Likely? Hard to say, but one thing we've seen from the players' union in recent years is a willingness to throw unrepresented minor leaguers under the bus. Think there may be a bit of resentment growing on the part of veterans who've been seeing kids signing eight figure deals a week after they get called up when they themselves had to make due with the league minimum and then do the arbitration polka? I could totally feature that, and if Hosmer got caught on the wrong side of that line he would be kissing millions goodbye not to sign now.

As Mellinger also points out, however, the Royals and Boras have had a pretty good working relationship recently -- and if that's not a backhanded compliment I don't know what is -- so this thing may very well get done.

All Royals fans and Boras-haters can do is to wait and see.


Anonymous said...

All this worry seems a bit premature. Everybody is playing chicken with the deadline, just like last year, and most if not all of these guys will sign ... but I wouldn't expect the avalanche to start until 24-36 hours before the deadline. For all the reasons the article mentions, I can't imagine Hosmer not signing. Until he actually doesn't, I'm not getting worked up about it.

Peter said...

Anonymous is right...what's happened so far is exactly what Keith Law and other people who know the draft inside and out predicted would happen. Almost all of these guys will sign, including Hosmer.

Maguro said...

Same thing applies to Pedro Alvarez, another Boras client drafted by Pittsburgh. It would be quite a gamble for Alvarez to go back to Vandy for his Senior year after being drafted #2. Almost nowhere to go but down from there.

Ron said...

Wow, a 2-for-1 deal.

A Royals fan (yeah, insert joke here, I don't care, I still love my team) and a Boras hater. Good post, Craig.

By the way, Boras is the anti-christ.

And I don't even belive in religion.