Scott Boras, superagent and every General Manager's #1 enemy, most famous in Philadelphia for the J.D. Drew debacle in the 1997 draft, takes credit for the Nationals success. In fact, he speaks as if he is on equal footing with Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo in an interview today by the Washington Post.
"Rizzo and I put this team together. I got eight or nine guys on the team. I got another whole group in the minor leagues."
There are plenty of reasons why this is just incredibly stupid to stay. Here's my list.
1. Just a few weeks ago Nationals pitcher Edwin Jackson decided to ditch Boras as his agent. Yet in the piece he talks about how it was he who suggested the Nationals needed Edwin Jackson because Stephen Strasburg would need to be shut down.
"I went to the owner and said ‘You better start Edwin Jackson, you better do this because you are going to need these innings because we have this plan for Stephen Strasburg.’ And you know what? Ted [Lerner] did it. I had to go to his house to get the money to have to do it and say look this is the plan, but you know what, he did it."
Edwin Jackson was only still available because Boras screwed up Jackson's chances on the free agent market. And Boras got fired.
2. Players like Jayson Werth signed because of the stupid amount of money they were paid, not because it was part of a master plan to assemble a team. In fact, right now Werth fits in so poorly that he is batting leadoff and playing center field.
Bryce Harper is in right field and Michael Morse is in left. So the Nationals are stuck with Werth's ridiculous contract and glove in center field. And the Nationals appear to be looking for a new leadoff hitter, says Adam Kilgore:
Johnson seemed to suggest that the Nationals have leadoff options for the future. The Nationals have long targeted leadoff hitters as a need to be filled potentially in free agency.
Oh okay, but Boras designed it this way-a guy with no position and temporary lead-off hitter? I'm sure if the Milwaukee Brewers offered $128 million to Jayson Werth, he'd be there instead. Give me a break.
3. The Nationals drafting Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg has absolutely nothing to do with Scott Boras other than the team was so bad they got first round picks. Did Boras have something to do with repeated bad seasons? Maybe if you consider that the Nationals had some of his mediocre clients like Rick Ankiel and 40-year old Ivan Rodrigez getting regular playing time on the really bad teams that helped net them some draft picks.
D.C. area blog Half Smokes thinks Boras deserves an award for this collection of players:
"So when do the Nationals just hand out some sort of honorary team award to Boras? Considering how embedded he is in their culture, they might as well."
It's simple: be bad and willing to pay any draft pick or free agent the other 29 teams don't feel is worth overpaying for, and yes, Boras should get an award. His bad players helped contribute to those draft picks and he found a team willing to pay outrageous signing bonuses.
In closing, yes, the Nationals have a lot of Scott Boras clients as their players. But I don't doubt for a minute that once Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg hit free agency that the highest bidder is going to get their services. He found a desperate team with money at the right time. He will use them until their last dollar and then will find someone else to take advantage of. Of course, what other agent can get a team to pay $5 million for John Lannan and stuff him in AAA?