A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Boras Factor

Three of the last four Met top draft picks were pitchers. Whether that is a trend or the way things have just shaken out is beyond me, but hopefully the last two picks do not take as long as Aaron Heilman to come around and be an effective Major League Pitcher. This is also the second year in a row the Mets took a Scott Boras represented pitcher by taking Mike Pelfrey after they drafted Matt Durkin in the second round of 2004. In my opinion, Scott Boras has changed the face of the draft. "The draft order is about economics," Hansen's powerhouse agent Scott Boras explained. "It's not about skill." The draft was built upon the idea that the lowest teams can draft the best talent. They can, but they are much less likely to do it if Scott Boras is their client. Boras helped Jared Weaver and Stephen Drew drop to the mid first round last season despite being the top two talents because of his contract demands. Taylor Teagarden slipped to the 99th pick in the 3rd round despite being the second best catcher in the draft, Luke Hochevar fell to the 40th pick in the supplemental first round despite being the second best starting pitcher in the staff, and Craig Hansen fell the 26th overall pick because of signability questions despite being the best and most polished arm in the draft. The Yankees reportedly passed on Hansen because he figured to be out of their allotted budget for draft. Granted they never spend as much on the draft as they do in free agency, but that just sounds ridiculous.

After holding out for an entire year, Jared Weaver and Stephen Drew basically signed for what was previously offered by the Angels and the Diamondbacks. They essentially dropped in the draft and missed an entire year of development because Scott Boras was their agent. Now, any player that has Boras as his agent and is a premium talent, they have a red flag on them before the draft. Boras has changed the face of the draft. Low first round draft picks do not necessarily mean bad picks anymore. In fact, you have a shot at premium, top ten talent year in and year out because people now ignore Boras players and look for easier signs. While the Mets figure to have a relatively high draft pick in the 2006 draft, provided they hold on to it, they have a legitimate chance to reel in same caliber talent they did in 2004 and 2005 if they are willing lay out the cash.
Year Scenario #1 Scenario #2 Scenario #3
2004 $4.00 $1.05 playing XBOX
2005 minors $1.05 $4.00
2006 $0.32 $1.05 minors
2007 $0.33 $1.05 $0.32
2008 $0.34 $1.05 $0.33
2009 $4.00 $5.00 $0.34
2010 $5.00 $6.00 $4.00
2011 $6.00 $7.00 $5.00
2012 $7.00 $8.00 $6.00
Total $26.99 $31.25 $19.99

Scenario #1 has Weaver taking the $4 million up front and a Minor League contract back in 2004. He spends 2005 in the minors and starts in the majors on opening day 2006. He has six years before his free agent year, including three arbitration years, and signs a contract in his walk year.

Scenario #2 has Weaver taking the $5.25 million, five year Major League contract before opening day 2005. He spends five years under contract and then he starts at $5 million and it goes up $1 per year until 2012. It does not matter which years or arbitration or which years are a new contract.

Scenario #3 has Weaver taking the exact deal he was offered in scenario #1 last year, but he accepted this year.

"Sign and play, that's the way I look at it," said Brendan Donnelly, who spent 10 seasons in the minor leagues before becoming an All-Star reliever. "Who knows if he can get big-league hitters out? He's unproven, and until he comes and starts proving himself, no one's going to know what he's worth."

Jared Weaver lost a year of development time that he now needs to make up as well as losing cash in his pocket. Whether he can get himself in pitching shape and be up at the Major League level in 1 1/2 seasons is a big question. After coming off a great college season in which he was in top form, it was expected to be a quick ascension through the ranks to the help the big club. Now, he has not pitched competitively since his last game at Long Beach State. I'm sure he has been keeping in shape, but he is going to have to go through a mini spring training and start off at the high class-A affiliate of the Angels and work his way back up. There is no doubt there will be rust and there is no doubt he will need to get used to throwing 100 plus pitches a game every five days.

Boras held Weaver out because he thought he deserved the most money since he had the best college season out of any of the crop of college pitchers last year. Whether or not he had as high a ceiling as a Justin Verlander or a Jeff Neiman was irrelevant to Boras. However, that is something that can backfire in a big way. Weaver already left a lot of money on the table and he lost a lot of important development time. Not only did he most likely lose money by holding out in the end, but he has now pushed his big payday or arbitration a year back. Someone will have to remind me again, who won in these negotiations between Weaver and the Angels? It seems like both sides lost despite the fact they came to an agreement. Hopefully there will be a trickle down effect with Boras and hopefully he realized that it is not all about the money you receive right now.

With Mike Pelfrey being the consensus best college starting pitcher, hopefully Boras learned from the past and hopefully Pelfrey is true to his word about getting to pitch this season. He threw over 131 innings this past year, so he should not throw too many innings, but it is important he gets his feet wet and the Mets get to see a glimpse of him in 30 to 40 innings. By playing hardball with Boras, the Angels and the Diamondbacks could have set something right with the universe even if it was just a little bit. If Pelfrey looks at what happened with last season, he would be best advised to take a fair deal that is presented to him and get suited up and play the games. There is absolutely no benefit from holding out even if you can snag another million dollars and Scott Boras had supposedly been telling teams not worry, his players are motivated to sign. I will truly need to see that to believe it, but I am optimistic the Mets will wrap this up fast in light of the past years negotiations with Weaver and Drew.

* * *

  • Danny Graves gets a one year deal with a team option. Once again, I have no problem with this move as long as it does not displace Heath Bell or Aaron Heilman.

  • Pedro es muy bueno. He did not even have his best stuff and he dominated. 99% of the pitchers out there cannot even dominate with their best stuff.

  • Public enemy #1.

    "I should have done something about it," Floyd said. "He'll get his. It's unfortunate that he goes that route. His pride is too high for him to throw four balls. An idiot like that not only deserves to lose, but he deserves to get a ball off his ... somewhere."

    Last night was not the night, but he and those loser Astros will get theirs.

    Said Floyd, "When egos get in the way, people end up in prison or dead. Next time, I'm going to have to lose it a little bit."

  • Minor update:

    • Norfolk beat Durham 7-3. Craig Brazell went 3 for 4 with three RBIs.
    • Binghamton beat Altoona 5-1. Anderson Hernandez went 1 for 5 with a homer, but Brian Bannister supplied all the offense he needed. Bannister went 2 for 4 with one run, two doubles, and two RBIs while going eight innnings, giving up eight hits, one run, and struck out eight. He is now 7-1 with a 2.04 ERA. Dude is on fire.
    • St. Lucie beat Palm Beach 9-3. Milledge went 3 for 5 with three runs score and one RBI.
    • Hagerstown lost to Lake County 12-2.
  • Rob Dibble said that the Mets have one of the better bullpens in baseball on the Opie and Anthony show on XM Radio. Weird. It's not bad, but far room "one of the better". Either way, it is good to hear someone say something good about the Mets.
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