The Scott Boras Piece Of Pie

The following article is a guest post from Getting Blanked contributor Ian Hunter.  Ian is the creator and operator of The Blue Jay Hunter.  To keep himself occupied during the offseason, he enjoys making pie charts and bar graphs about baseball for the flimsiest of reasons.

Over the course of his career as the most prevalent agent in sports, Scott Boras has been called every name in the book: a weasel, gold digger, money hound, pen pusher, and so on and so forth.

All things considered, Boras probably couldn’t care less what people think of him. You want to know why? Because he’s filthy stinking rich. I’m not just talking Scarface rich, I’m talking Godfather rich.

When Boras gets his clients to sign on the dotted line, it’s hardly ever for a meager amount. It’s typically a contract worth millions more than the club he’s negotiating with actually intended on spending and includes years in which his client has little likelihood of maintaining the same level of play at which he’s currently playing.

You see, that’s the brilliance of Boras: he uses hard negotiation tactics to get the maximum dollars for the maximum years. It’s an art in baseball that he has seemed to have perfected over the years.

I wondered just exactly how much money Scott Boras has negotiated for 2011 and beyond, and while the amount may not surprise you, the rest of MLB’s spending will.

Team And Payroll Commitments

Scott Boras: $729.25 million
Phillies: $486.216 million
Red Sox: $384.001 million
Yankees: $344.38 million
Twins: $254.225 million
White Sox: $246.225 million
Tigers: $245.875 million
Cardinals: $205.326 million
Mets: $203.93 million
Cubs: $203.025 million
Mariners: $181.072 million
Rockies: $176.23 million
Blue Jays:$164.771 million
Angels: $156.09 million
Dodgers: $153.875 million
Reds: $133.94 million
Giants: $132.366 million
Brewers: $122.708 million
Marlins: $121.25 million
Orioles: $105.726 million
D-Backs: $94.882 million
Braves: $89.57 million
Rangers: $87.65 million
Astros: $72.275 million
Royals: $65.925 million
Athletics: $52.57 million
Nationals: $49.151 million
Rays: $45.579 million
Indians: $44.724 million
Pirates: $34.05 million
Padres: $5.7 million

Above is a chart of all the guaranteed contracts signed from 2011 to 2016. Obviously, we’re not taking into account arbitration raises at this point, just guaranteed contracts. Scott Boras alone controls $729.25 million dollars. The next closest team is the Philadelphia Phillies at just over $486 million dollars.

The piece of the pie Scott Boras has all to himself is almost shocking: 14 percent of all dollars being spent on guaranteed contracts between now and the 2016 season. That’s nearly one-seventh of all contracts in baseball in terms of total dollars that were negotiated by one man.

If the going commission rate is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 10 percent, that means that the Boras Corporation will pocket approximately $73 million dollars between now and 2016. Not too shabby for a guy who doesn’t even have to swing a bat or throw a baseball for a living.

What exactly can we take away from this information?

Aside from imagining Scott Boras light his cigars with thousand dollar bills and laughing off the tuition fees of his great, great, great grandchildren, it becomes clear that it’s better to be an elite agent than an elite baseball player.  While at the moment, it may appear as though Jayson Werth will make more than Boras over the next seven years, in addition to his agent’s career having a much longer shelf life, Boras annual earnings can only go up as he negotiates extensions through the season and next year’s contracts during the offseason.

I wonder how much longer it will be until parents begin enrolling their children in negotiation schools rather than signing their kids up for Little League.  It’s clearly a much more lucrative career.

Because, after all, if you can’t play, get somebody to pay you to get someone else to play.

Comments (8)

  1. Great post, Ian. Pretty unbelievable how many people have been Boras’d over the years.

  2. He’s not rich, he’s wealthy.

  3. Aren’t the Boras payroll commitments misleading? How many players do his commitments cover? I would suggest taking the 25 top commitments he has to make it comparable to the MLB 25 man roster.

    • I think the more interesting of the two is the pie chart which shows how much of the guaranteed money in baseball that was brokered by Boras. That’s just an insane amount done by one agency.

      Thinking of Boras in terms of one team and comparing it to others doesn’t really have a lot of meaning. It’s more of a funny/interesting thing to look at.

  4. JRock, I toyed with a few different versions – one including the total commitments and one without. Ultimately, I thought it was a better choice to go with the individual commitments.

    No matter which way you look at it, Scott Boras has more money locked up than the Yankees, Phillies and Red Sox. That’s a lot of money/power for one man to have under his control.

    And the Boras commitments cover all the players he represents, including minor league players which have guaranteed contracts.

  5. What’s also interesting is that Toronto is in the upper half of all of that spending. To me anyway…

  6. what I find really mind boggling is that the Nationals owe less money total than they do to one player, Werth, alone.

  7. Mattt, Vernon’s contract makes up the bulk of the money owed – otherwise Toronto would be on the bottom of the list in spending.

    Josh, in the bar graph, the total for the Nationals was $49.151 in commitments not taking into account the Werth/Strasburg/Harper and other contracts. If I included them in, the Nationals would probably be close to the top in spending.

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