Boras taking Arrieta pitch straight to owners

From ESPN - December 11, 2017

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Agent Scott Boras is going straight to the top in his quest to find a home for Jake Arrieta.

Boras said Monday that he has sent a 75-page binder exclusively to MLB owners on behalf of Arrieta, who hit the open market alongside Yu Darvish as the most coveted free-agent starter this winter.

Over the past three seasons with the Chicago Cubs, Arrieta is 54-24 with a 2.71 ERA, second only to the Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw in that span. One MLB executive told ESPN he's under the impression Boras is seeking a long-term contract in the $200 million range for Arrieta, but Boras said he has not set any specific parameters with teams.

"I do not put values on anything,'' Boras said from the MLB winter meetings. "I just look at performance. I look at the marketplace and say, 'How does he stack up against the top pitchers in the game, and why?' I am not the purchaser. I am not the check writer. I am merely someone who talks about the performance value.

"I give them all the book, and the onion starts to peel. And all of a sudden there's only a small group left who do what [Justin] Verlander, Arrieta and [Max] Scherzer do."

Boras' promotional binders and penchant for dealing directly with owners have helped define his operating strategy with his elite clients through the years. One baseball insider, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Boras has become more motivated to bypass front offices and go straight to the top in recent years because so few general managers are authorized to make nine-figure deals.

"Scott's big thing is to show these owners that it's good business to sign his players,'' the person said. "I think he's doing it more now because he had so much success with the Tigers and the Nationals.''

Over a span of several years, Boras struck deals of $100-million plus with the Lerner family in Washington and the late Mike Ilitch in Detroit.

A big league general manager, who also requested anonymity, questioned whether Boras' approach is as effective as it once was with owners. He also said some of his peers are not fans of Boras' strategy of going straight to ownership because "it presumes we do not communicate with our owners.''


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