Secretive Agents

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported yesterday that relief pitcher Chan Ho Park wanted to remain with the Phillies in 2010.  Instead, Park wound up signing with the Yankees for 1.2 million, a great deal less than the 3 million the Phillies had offered earlier in the off-season. 
park2009.jpg
Park stated, “Philadelphia was the No. 1 choice. I had a tough time leaving there. I had much support from fans and community, and I had the best teammates there…”

 

The question then becomes, why did he and his agent, Jeff Boris, turn down the Phillies offer if he wanted to stay there?  Park made 2.5 million in 2009, so the 3 million was not only a raise, but likely to be the best offer he received.  In the recent past, there has been what appears to be a string of mismanaged deals by baseball agents who become greedy and over estimate their clients’ value.  This certainly looks like one of them.

 

By the time Park and Mr. Boris realized this deal was a gift from an appreciative team who liked Park very much in 2009, it was too late.  GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has a no-nonsense style of dealing with contracts.  If he feels a player is not committed, he moves on.  Amaro was not going to wait for Park to change his mind and quickly signed Danys Baez and Jose Contreras.

 

And if we believe Park was sincere in wanting to return, then why would Mr. Boris not jump on the one year deal?  Another agent notorious for his hard-handed tactics is agent Scott Boras who recently took outfielder Johnny Damon on a fairly stressful ride through free agency.  Damon wanted to stay with the Yankees but Boras handed down a $13 million dollar ultimatum to the Yankees, which frankly, was a lot more than Damon was worth and he should have known that.  The Yankees scoffed at the gesture and Damon wound up signing with the Tigers for $8 million.

 

Damon told the NY Daily News, “I let Scott do his work…That’s why he’s there. In the end, I think he did a great job. It’s funny, though. Every time I’m a free agent, I’m always on a new team.”  He said a mouthful there.  Mr. Boras has a habit of burning bridges and this latest stunt was no exception.

 

Another player who may or may not have been burned by his agent this off-season is former Phillie Cliff Lee.  Although agent Darek Braunecker denied any wrong doing back in December, the fact that the trade happened so quickly and right after talks with Braunecker makes you wonder if he did give some sort of indication that Lee would not accept certain terms (ie: less than 2 years, a certain dollar amount, etc…).  Again, this is only speculation, but knowing the Phillies GM Amaro’s straightforward style, if Braunecker said anything at all to make Amaro question Lee’s commitment to the Phillies, it is easy to see why that could have triggered a fast trade.

 

Obviously, the depletion of the farm system played heavily into the trade, but was that the only consideration?  What happens behind closed doors, we will never know, but it does make you stop and wonder.  How much input each of these players had in the conversations with teams and their agents is also unknown, but based on the players reactions, maybe these agents need to think more about their clients well-being and less about their own pockets?  But again, this is just one gal’s humble opinion :O)  We will miss Park and Lee and I wish them the best!

 

In other Phillies news, both Brad Lidge and JC Romero threw off the mound during Spring Training on Sunday.  Each pitcher is taking it slow, but making descent progress.  Lidge appears to be slightly ahead of Romero as far as being ready, but both are still hopeful about Opening Day.

 

As for the rest of the pitching crew, here is the week’s schedule for when games begin on Wednesday:

 

- Wednesday vs. Florida State: J.A. Happ, Phillippe Aumont, Yohan Flande, Drew Naylor, Joe Savery, Jesus Sanchez and David Herndon.

- Thursday vs. Yankees: Roy Halladay, Kyle Kendrick, Jose Contreras, Andrew Carpenter and Sergio Escalona.

- Friday at Toronto in Dunedin: Cole Hamels, J.C. Ramirez, Ryan Vogelsong and Antonio Bastardo.

- Friday at Toronto in Dunedin (B GAME): Jamie Moyer, Chad Durbin, Ryan Madson and Scott Mathieson.

- Saturday at Pittsburgh in Bradenton: Joe Blanton, Danys Baez, Ehren Wasserman, Mike Zagurski, Bill White and B.J. Rosenberg.

- Sunday vs. Tampa Bay: Happ, Aumont, Naylor, Sanchez, Herndon, Flande and Savery.

Thanks to Todd Zolecki at The Zo Zone for posting the list!

 

Photos by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

7 Comments

Hmm. Wow, I actually feel sorry for Park. Always liked him. As for the Damon comment, yeah, that’s loaded with idiocy. Boras did NOT do a great job. He lost Damon money. And the fact that he’s on another team every time is pretty telling. So as they say in Philly: booooooooooooo!
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

I read that about Park and wondered why he didn’t take the deal the Phillies offered. Stupid! Oh, well. I hope he does a good job for the Yankees — for his pitiful $1 million. Ha ha.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

The players don’t get a lot of say when they have Boras… unless they fire him of course… Park would have been a good one to keep…
~peter
Outside the Phillies Looking In
http://devilabrit.mlblogs.com

Wow Jenn! Games begin Wednesday!? How exctiting! I love doing that flip of the calendar from February to March!
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/
http://DodgersBlueBlog.com/

I never can figure out what agents are thinking especially Boras. It always has to do about money.
Chan Ho always has been and always will be one of my favorites.
http://catlovesthedodgers.mlblogs.com

Heartruss, Boras is no longer his agent.

Philliesphollowers, my guess is you haven’t followed CHP much over the years because this is his typical MO. He did the same thing after the ’01 season, said he wanted to stay in L.A. and owed them a debt of gratitude; otherwise he would still be pitching in Korea, and he ended up making history with the Dodgers. The Dodgers made him a fair offer and what did he do? Bolted to Texas. Returning to the Dodgers later, he had a good run, and after the ’08 season he said he wanted to stay in L.A. because he loved the fan support, the largest Korean population in the U.S., etc., then modified that to “I’ll only stay if I can be in the rotation all season.” (He was a spot starter for the Dodgers that year.) Then he ended up in Philly, where he was NOT in the rotation all season. Now says he wanted to stay in Philly…??? It’s anyone’s guess which way the wind blows. I liked CHP a lot, but the ‘pen is best suited for him at this point in his career.

http://behindblueyes.mlblogs.com

I should also add to my previous post that in his crazy economy, agents are clearly overestimating teams’ offers. That’s why we’re seeing so many wacky things like this. Who knew Randy Winn would end up replacing Johnny Damon too? It’s just weird.

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