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Dodgers: Scott Boras Feels Huge Free Agent Contracts Prove Moneyball Doesn’t Work

Boras believes teams are starting to move away from sabermetrics.

Scott Boras has had himself a busy winter so far, negotiating roughly $878 million between four of his clients Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon, and Mike Moustakas.

With his other top clients such as Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dallas Keuchel still available, it’s easy to assume Boras will get his clients over $1 billion before the off-season is over.

Boras appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Alley on Friday, where he claimed that the trend of teams following the Moneyball model does not work, and pointed to the MLB’s 4% drop in attendance in 2018 and early 2019 as proof.

“The fanbase in baseball has spoken about the models baseball is using,” Boras said. “And that is these predicted models where they felt that the successes of teams were going to be measured by something other than I think the fans perception in the ballpark about who great players are.”

Moneyball was made famous by Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane as he was able to field a competitive team in the early 2000s with one of the lowest payrolls in the league, and was widely viewed as a way for small market teams to gain an edge.

The Dodgers have notably drawn criticism from fans for following the analytics-heavy approach rather than taking advantage of their market size to attract free agents.

If you ask Boras though, analytics are on their way out as more teams are willing to shell out big money for big name veterans, as evidenced by Boras’ negotiations this off-season.

Whether that’s true or not, the Dodgers have proven yet again that they do not want to be big players in free agency.

Written by Andres Soto

14 Comments

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  1. We shouldn’t be the team doing this. That simple. Ownership is just greedy they want to just make the playoffs spending the least possible to do so because it makes them the most money. Their priority this offseason is to renovate the stadium to bring in even more people for profit not to put the team over the top. They are just a business and Dodger stadium is their amusement park

    • Correct, NODH and the Dodger’s money ball philosophy has shown all of us that it doesn’t work but like the last sentence on this page says:
      “Whether that’s true or not, the Dodgers have proven yet again that they do not want to be big players in free agency.”
      And that is why unfortunately 2020 will be another failed season as far as October is concerned.

  2. If anyone would know it would be Bora’s. Pedro Martinez said the exact thing! Machado said the Dodgers wouldn’t pay him! We could go on and on. The Lakers are what’s left in L.A.Thank god the Buss family is still true to the fans, and goes all out for us! The Dodgers have just created a huge disconnect with the former money spending fans like myself! No more money Stan. No more mlb package, no more hats,sweaters,as Christmas presents. You guys lied and stole my money going on 34 years.. And you are losers!

  3. The Dodgers ownership has spent a lot of money buying and repairing the Dodgers after buying them from the Boston crooks. Cost them billions to repair the major and minor league teams. They have done an incredible job while making the team perennial contenders. I want them to sign all the free agents like every fan. Most of the FA’s haven’t panned out though. Would FA’s have prevented the Dodgers from joking in the postseason? No. They definitely need to sign some FAs. The present players need to stop underperforming. But they have not been cheap. No team overall has outspent the Dodgers over the last 10 years. Also, the renovations being made are not subject to the salary cap and luxury tax. The All Star game is here this year and Dodger Stadium is almost 70 years old. Renovations are maintenance not just a money grab.

    • Mike, the present players aren’t underperforming! They are players that have been hyped up and most are either from the farm or someone else’s misfits picked up in a low risk trade or returning from a injury. The Dodgers have spent the most money on bad contracts and foreign development in the last 10 years. And how many Dominican players are in the starting line up? Kenley. The reason the free agents haven’t panned out is because they weren’t top tier players to begin with, or they wouldn’t pay them. Ex. Manny machado or Zack greinke! Grandal was the latest screw up! You are correct in them spending big on the minor league teams! It really fits into the business model to keep the farm sending up non established players to replace the players that perform and will require a big payday. Holding onto prospects is much cheaper and cost effective. If your running a monopoly its a great way to do business. They are really good businessmen!

      • I agree. The Dodgers’ pitching has let them down, both the starting rotation and the bullpen. I love Kershaw, but he is past his prime and should be slotted in the 3rd pitcher rotation. I think the future is Walker Beuhler, Dustin May, Julio Urias (if healthy), and Tony Gonsolin. The bullpen needs some serious over-hauling.

  4. Boras doesn’t like moneyball because it limits his ability to make money. He wants the biggest free agent contracts imaginable because his livelihood is his slice of the pie on each mega-contract he manages. Is Boras the real problem for the Dodgers. Does he resent the fact that they don’t routinely throw money away like other teams? Does he shun them when dealing with players like Cole who would have made more money per year with the Dodgers than the Yankees? Maybe this is not all Freidmans fault, as many would like to believe. Maybe Boras has a virtual Monopoly on big market free agents and a vendetta against the Dodgers for having nerve to spend money wisely, even though they have deep pockets.

    • Amen. Scott Boras’ only goal is $$$. The big $$$ and the 9 years contracts will destroy the team’s future competitiveness. It is crazy to commit 9 years. The Yankees have refused off players who did not work out after the l-t contracts and find excuses not to pay. And whatever happened to competitive balance for the smaller $$$ strapped teams? How is it good for baseball to have just a few perennial winners and losers?

  5. Boras said the proof he’s right is the drop in attendance in MLB. Only problem is Dodger attendance is at an all-time high! So ignore this agent wanting to exploit MLB owners and make maximum commission on his players new contracts. The problem for MLB is too many teams and the quality of baseball played suffers! Time to drop a few perennial loser teams and restore the game to its past glory where the level of playing is much better across MLB!

  6. Recent history says Boras full of it. If it’s all about his big contract players, let’s look a the two biggest mega-contracts from last year. Manny Machado goes from the last place Orioles to help the Padres to a last place finish while putting up pedestrian numbers. Bryce Harper leaves the Nationals who promptly win a world championship without him. His new team, the Phillies, don’t even sniff postseason. Both the Padres and the Phillies will be in a long term bind to aquire new talent as Machado and Harper continue to suck the lifeblood out of these teams for the next decade. Thanks Boras!

  7. Boras has never done well with the Dodgers because of his pompous , know it all attitude . He has yet to bring enough players to a team to win titles . He knows nothing about how to win titles . How did it work out with Bryce Harper ? Get real , you are a money grubbing jerk who really doesn’t care how the teams do , .talk about analytics , he uses them all the time to justify his demands . He is a gas bag .

  8. The Phillies are all in! Yet another team that has drastically improved by attaining the best catcher realmuto, and outfielder harper on the market last year, and already the 3 rd best starter this year. By the way, their philosophy worked just as well as our genius’ s team plan did. Same as The Padres , no trophy’s. You and I may have different perspectives about each season. When you don’t win it all, your no different than the other 31 teams that lost.

  9. You’re way off…nice try though. It opened in 1962. 57 years old.
    When it come to pitchers they have been CHEAP.
    Dodgers sound like the people my grandmother talked about and warned us not to follow….first they promise you everything for your soup, then they says they couldn’t deliver meat and potatoes. So they would say here’s some vegetables for your soup keep on following us and giving us money you’ll get your meat and potatoes for your soup and next year.
    The next year comes and they say sorry no meat and potatoes here’s chicken broth instead of water that will flavor things up, but keep on coming here and spending your money, next year for sure you’ll get meat and potatoes…and under this regime, it’s just make enough stadium improvements but go CHEAP on the pitching people will keep spending money, while their eating all the meat and potatoes!
    CHEAP.

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