It’s true that super-agent Scott Boras makes a lot of money for his clients, but former Red Sox and still free agent shortstop Stephen Drew is finding out what life is like while waiting for potential riches and security to arrive.
Drew made a decision earlier in the winter to reject a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Red Sox and seek a longer term deal on the open market.
Coming off a season in which he put up a stat line of .253/.333/.777 with 13 HR and 67 RBI in 124 games, it appears both Boras and Drew may have misread his value on the open market. As major league shortstops go, Drew is more than serviceable at the position with those numbers and his excellent defense.
Yet here we are approximately two weeks from opening day and Drew is still without a team. Even the New York Mets, who are desperate for shortstop help and are a no-brainer as far as a fit for Drew, have stayed away.
This is the downside of partnering with Boras, who is notorious for holding his clients back for every last penny he can get in free agency. Former Seattle Mariner and co-Boras client Kendry Morales employed the same strategy as Drew this off season and is in the same boat.
It’s a strategy that can work with superstar players but seems to backfire with a solid everyday player like Drew, who is good on the right team but not a great player on just any team.
It’s fine for an agent to get the most for his clients but at a certain point the player himself has to realize what he is truly worth and say “let’s make a fair deal.” Otherwise, you end up with this situation in which the agent tells prospective teams the player’s value is higher than what the market dictates.
In the last couple of weeks we’ve heard rumblings in the Boston papers that Drew has hinted to his former Red Sox teammates that maybe he should have just taken the qualifying offer to further build his value.
It is obvious that with Xander Bogaerts in the fold as an uber-prospect at short that this would be Drew’s last go round in Boston unless Bogaerts failed spectacularly.
Instead, Drew is now facing the possibility of having to sit out until after the amateur draft in June to find a deal as teams would not have to forfeit a draft pick if they wait that long to sign him. He says he’s on board with that but is that Drew talking or Boras?
It all adds up to a ruinous situation for Drew’s career if he has to wait that long to sign.
He sits out with no team for a half season because he’s listening to an agent that’s telling him he’s worth more than he is when the market is obviously dictating the truth.
This scenario is classic Boras and one in which it appears he is again pulling the strings.
When will players like Drew realize that, in the end, they have the power to ultimately control their situations and tell their agent to just make the deal?
Maybe Drew will be one of the few to do so and Boras will cease being the most hated man in baseball, at least for a few days.