MLB Owners Prove They’re Sick Of Hard-Negotiating Agent-To-The-Stars Scott Boras, Hand Him Worst Offseason Yet

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Robert McGreevy Contributor
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MLB super agent Scott Boras has been a thorn in the side of MLB owners for years. The hard-negotiating agent has regularly set records for earning his clients the largest contracts in MLB history.

But this offseason, something changed. Where normally MLB owners and their general managers fork over massive sums to overpay for the league’s premier talent, this offseason, many of Boras’ clients languished on the free agent wire as their unreasonable demands sat unmet.

With reigning World Series champion Jordan Montgomery’s Tuesday night agreement with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the last of Boras’ remaining “big five” superstars was snatched up. All five of these clients — Cody Bellinger, Blake Snell, Matt Chapman, J.D. Martinez and Montgomery — were initially asking for significantly more money and longer-term deals than they received.

Bellinger was asking for $200 million, according to the New York Post’s John Heyman. He got a three-year, $80 million deal from the Chicago Cubs.

Snell was asking for at least $270 million. He initially received a $150 million offer from the New York Yankees, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. He ended up accepting a two-year, $62 million deal from the San Francisco Giants.

Matt Chapman wanted $150 million, according to Nightengale, turned down over $100 million from the Toronto Blue Jays and ended up accepting a $54 million deal from the Giants.

Martinez was allegedly looking for over $50 million. He turned down a one-year $15 million deal from the Giants and ended up taking a one-year $12 million contract from the New York Mets.

Montgomery, who signed a one-year $25 million deal with the Diamondbacks (with a vesting option for a second year) was apparently looking for a $170 million deal, ESPN’s Buster Olney posited.

Has Boras lost his touch? Or are MLB owners finally standing up to his intractable negotiating style? That’s a TON of money his clients left on the table.

It’s possible this course of events was the inevitable result of a slew of long-term deals turning sour for MLB franchises. Robinson Cano, Albert Pujols, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasberg all signed massive seven-plus-year deals within the past 11 seasons and all but Rendon are out of the league now. All, including Rendon, have been massive disappointments. (RELATED: ‘I Wish I Had An Interpreter’: MLB’s Banned-For-Life All-Time Hits Leader Weighs In On Ohtani Betting Scandal)

But it’s also possible that the league has decided that they’re sick of caving to Boras’ demands. Rendon, Cano and Strasberg are or were all Boras clients, and they all ended up exceeding market value, at least in part due to Boras’ negotiating skills.

While he is no doubt a savvy mediator, part of the difficulty in dealing with him in recent years has been his reputation. But as the saying goes, if you can make God bleed, people will cease to believe in him. If MLB GMs smell blood in the water, those sharks will eat Boras and his clients alive. Could this be the end of the era of Boras’ dominance in the MLB? Only time will tell. But one thing is for sure, his decision to tell his clients to hold out for a longer-term deal did not work one little bit.