Word Tuesday is that the Nationals have signed former Yankees closer Rafael Soriano to a two-year, $28 million deal. If you are scoring at home, his $14 million yearly salary is second all-time for a reliever, just a million bucks behind Mariano Rivera. How is this possible? Two words — Scott Boras.
Boras continues to somehow be able to score huge, overpriced contracts for his clients when it appears there is no market for them. There is only one explanation for this — extortion.
The Nationals have a good relationship with Boras, having signed several of his clients, including Jayson Werth, who received perhaps the most overpriced contract in baseball history. Washington has two other Scott Boras clients on the team; their names are Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. Perhaps you have heard of them.
I suspect Boras said something like this to the Nationals front office: “Hey, if you hope to re-sign Strasburg and Harper some day, you’ll sign my guy now, at my price.” Sounds like extortion to me. And the last time I checked, extortion was against the laws of the United States.
This is the only explanation I can thing of. Soriano is very good — he had 42 saves and a 2.26 ERA last season — but he’s only been a closer for three season over an 11 year career. He’s also 33 years old. He does not warrant being the second-highest paid reliever in history.
Not to mention that the Nationals now have to give up their first-round pick in the Junes draft because Soriano was attached to compensation. That’s one reason the market for him was so slow.
Many teams — including the Mets, apparently — shy away from doing business with Scott Boras. Probably a good idea.