Scott Boras, of course, is one of the world's true super-agents, and a guy with whom I'm sure a lot of baseball executives are loath to negotiate. He sets his sights high, and, more often than not, he manages to pull a great deal for his clients. Boras is such an effective agent that many baseball fans have taken to calling him evil, because of the money he secures.
One of Boras' trademark techniques is putting together exhaustive, laudatory notebooks on some of the best free agents he represents. Back in 2000 he put together a massive binder on Alex Rodriguez, and he's continued with that strategy through this year, as he's created a 73-page notebook about Prince Fielder. He's also produced thorough binders about Ryan Madson, Edwin Jackson and a few others.
The binders serve a dual purpose. For one thing, they show to each client how hard Boras is working. And for another, obviously, they work as informative albeit biased reference volumes for interested general managers. Boras passes these things out to try to get teams to look at his clients the way that he does.
Now, Boras does not produce these binders for all of his clients. That would be too much work, and some of his clients just aren't quite good enough to be worth it. The linked article by Jerry Crasnick, for example, implies that Boras did not build a notebook for client Willie Bloomquist. However, you shouldn't be fooled into thinking that Boras doesn't work hard for everyone, and that he isn't always trying to get his players the best deal possible. What follow are some of the ways that Boras pitched Bloomquist to baseball executives earlier in the offseason.
Boras produced thousands of twist ties with Willie Bloomquist's name on them, and sent them out to every team, with the color of the twist ties corresponding to the primary color of each team's logo. The twist ties were accompanied by a hand-written note saying that, "much like these twist ties, Willie Bloomquist helps to keep things fresh."
On-demand shuttle runs
Whenever Boras spoke to an interested general manager on the phone, he volunteered to send Bloomquist to the general manager's home town on his agency's private jet. Once Bloomquist arrived, he would find the general manager and perform as many shuttle runs as the general manager desired.
Boras produced dozens of novelty lighters made to look like a bust of Willie Bloomquist, and that opened at the mouth. He sent them out to every team, and the lighters were accompanied by a hand-written note saying that, "much like this lighter, Willie Bloomquist helps to keep things ignited."
Even though Boras didn't produce a thick and thorough Willie Bloomquist binder, he did still produce the following single-page flyer, several copies of which were mailed out to every team.
Boras made sure to conduct all of his phone calls with an assistant nearby. When he was talking to a team's general manager, he instructed his assistant to let out an enthusiastic "WOO!" in the background whenever he mentioned Willie Bloomquist's name, and to let out a blood-curdling scream in the background whenever he mentioned the name of a player who isn't a client. This way, general managers would associate Willie Bloomquist with happiness, and other players with absolute terror.
Did it all work? Willie Bloomquist wound up signing a two-year contract with the Diamondbacks worth $3.8 million. You tell me if it worked. Scott Boras is a hard worker, and a hard worker for his clients, and in the end, Scott Boras usually gets what Scott Boras wants.