CNBC's Rovell: This Deal Maker Is Major League
He got Alex Rodriguez a contract worth more than $250-million and more recently, the San Francisco Giantssigned Barry Zito to a 7 year, $126 million contract. (That’s a major league baseball record for a pitcher.) On today’s “Power Lunch,” CNBC’s Darren Rovell explained why Scott Boras has emerged as one of the most powerful (and feared) managers in all of Major League Baseball.
Here’s Rovell’s report:
Fans hate him, general managers say he's ruining baseball, but Scott Boras has emerged as one of the most powerful agents in the sport.
He’s the man behind 4 contracts worth more than $100 million each. Over nearly 3 decades, he's made his clients a lot of money.
During this off-season, Scott Boras has been quite busy. First, he convinced the Boston Red Sox to fork over a total package worth more than $103 million for his client, Japanese Pitcher Dice-Kay Matsuzaka.
On Wednesday, the Giants announced the signing of free agent pitcher Barry Zito. The 7-year, $126 million contract is the most valuable contract ever signed by a pitcher.
Larry Baer is the COO of the San Francisco Giants. He told Rovell, “When you deal with Scott Boras, you know it's going to be long, protracted and not for the faint of heart. And when you contact him for a premier player, you know its going to take a while and there's going to be a lot of leverage used.”
What’s Scott Boras' first rule of negotiation? Know the client! Although critics say that all Scott Boras' clients are bound to the highest bid, he says that's not the case.
Barry Zito said, “People may look at it well, I chased the money or (Scott) Boras had Zito sign here because of the money, but in reality, when I heard the Giants were interested, I told Scott, let's go and see what we got.”
The next Boras rule: Preparation.
Since he published a statistical projections book to negotiate Alex Rodriguez's bank busting 10-year, $252 million deal, all high profile Boras negotiations now start with presenting binders to teams.
He has recently built a 20,000 square foot facility in Newport Beach, California for his 77 employees. That allows Boras and his negotiating colleagues to prepare better. This stealthy environment ensures they won't be showing their hand to the guys on the other side of the table.
What’s the last Boras negotiation rule? Listen as much as you talk.
“A lot of it is how you hear,” said Scott Boras. “You'd be on the phone, you'd get a tone and a voice and you really understand where they are going now.”
And while businesspeople might want to hear these pointers, many fans can't stand him.
“Fans have called you the antichrist or the most hated man in baseball. Why do you think anger comes from the fan to you?” asked Rovell.
“If a player leaves a particular city, that was the result of my work,” he explained. “And so by definition "fan", (means) fanatical, people who support their teams. I'm happy they feel that way because I respect and want baseball fans to be who they are."
People are apparently scared to talk on the record about Scott Boras. Rovell spoke with 2 team presidents and a general manager -- all who didn't want to say anything public against him.