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THE NEGOTIATORS:The man behind the deals

Scott Boras of Newport Coast has produced Major League Baseball’s biggest contracts and he has more in store for the future.

August 23, 2007|By David Carrillo Peñaloza Daily Pilot

It is one of the rare days of the baseball season. Scott Boras has no game to attend.

The sports agent looks stranded, like the base runner on the nearby 60-inch flat-screen TV trying to score the game-winning run. Ninety feet seems so distant, almost as far as the nearest baseball game in San Francisco for Boras.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and San Diego Padres are all on the road.

“This only happens five times a season when we don’t have a game in Southern California,” Boras said. “My wife and I are going out to dinner. First time in seven weeks.”

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So what is one of most powerful men in Major League Baseball going to do for the next four hours before dinner?

Snap, snap. He’s posing for photos.

A photographer from Japan is taking shots, trying to get that million dollar shot for an upcoming feature on Boras in GQ Japan. The photographer just needs to focus on the walls of Boras Corp. in Newport Beach. The millions are on display, like prized works of art inside a sleek modern building. Pick your shot in the lobby, many to choose from the items hanging from the two-story-high ceiling.

To the left is pitcher Barry Zito of the San Francisco Giants. Almost in the middle is the big-ticket item, third baseman Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees.

Price tags only owners can afford. Zito went for $126 million in 2006, Rodriguez $252 million in 2000, the largest contracts for a pitcher and player in baseball history.

The man behind the deals is Boras. A 54-year-old charming, yet shrewd, former minor leaguer who cuts unprecedented contracts as the on-site chef does organic meats. The food is free for employees, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Boras charges a 5% fee for his clients. Smaller than the local sales tax, but Boras’ reputation is to squeeze the most out of an owner’s pockets.

Makes sense to the man from Elk Grove, near Sacramento. Boras, a son of a farmer, calls it getting fair market value for his clients. Players praise his due diligence. The more lucrative the contract he negotiates, the happier his clients usually are. It’s like a cow pumping out more milk. Boras made sure of that by milking cows correctly as a child.

Credit goes to the 31 years in the business in which Boras said he’s negotiated $2.5 billion in contracts. Boras’ formula for success is still on target as often as his Future Hall of Fame client Greg Maddux hits the strike zone.

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