- Agent Scott Boras called the Braves trading for numerous members of their World Series winning team in the middle of the season MLB’s “competitive cancer.”
- Atlanta traded numerous prospects and draft picks to acquire key players Jorge Soler, Adam Duvall, Joc Pederson, and Eddie Rosario during the season.
- More MLB news here.
Through the first four months of the Major League Baseball season, the Atlanta Braves had been playing much of it without outfielders Ronald Acuna, Jr. and Marcell Ozuna, pitching aces Mike Soroka and Huascar Ynoa, and catcher Travis d’Arnaud.
Atlanta’s records during those four months were 12-14, 13-12, 13-15, and 14-12, for a total of 52-53.
By November 2nd, the Braves were somehow World Series champions.
And by somehow, we mean they went out and traded a bunch of draft picks and prospects to completely revamp their roster in time for the MLB playoffs.
On July 15, they traded for Joc Pederson. At the trade deadline, the Braves added Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall and Jorge Soler.
From August through the end of the Major League Baseball season, the Braves went 36-20.
Rosario would be named the NLCS MVP, while Soler took home MVP honors in the World Series.
Not everyone was happy with how the Braves managed to turn things around, however.
At the MLB general managers’ meetings on Wednesday, superagent Scott Boras called what the Atlanta Braves did Major League Baseball’s “competitive cancer.”
“This is the Easter Bunny delivering rotten eggs,” said Boras, according to the Associated Press.
“Every team says, ‘I need to do this because it’s my only option, knowing I can’t reach a divisional crest, I can’t get in the playoffs.’”
Boras added, “We have seen the championship in 60 days. The rules allow them to be a less-than-.500 team at Aug. 1 and add four players, five players from teams that no longer wanted to compete, and for very little cost change the entirety of their team and season.
“And we saw this unfold to the detriment of teams that create at vast expense, planning and intellect and won over 100 games. In doing all this, we have now created an understanding that a fan would not know who the true team is until, frankly, the trading deadline.”
He’s certainly not wrong, but does it matter?
“The Atlanta Braves are the Atlanta Braves because tanking teams said, ‘I want to get to the bottom to get those draft picks,’” Boras continued.
Again, not wrong. So why is it happening, and if it’s such a big problem, how can it be fixed?
Boras blames the collective bargaining agreement that expires on Dec. 1 and limits the amount of money teams are allowed to spend on signing draft picks. Why sign expensive free agents to contracts when a struggling team can just rebuild on the cheap with prospects like the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros both did.
“It created an incentive for the race to the bottom,” said Boras, “because now we have half the Major League teams at some time during the season being non-competitive, trading off their players, making the game and the season very different than what it was intended to be, and that was having an incentive to win every game that you play.”
Of course, signing veteran players to lucrative contracts is exactly what Scott Boras wants as, going into this offseason, his free agent clients include Nick Castellanos, Kris Bryant, Michael Conforto, Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, Max Scherzer, and James Paxton.
Boras also claimed that, as things now stand, only 17 MLB teams – at most, will try to compete for the World Series title during in 2022.
Reactions by fans and people involved the MLB world to what Scott Boras had to say about the current system were a mixed bag.
I just went through the list and came up with the same number myself. Really depends on how you classify Colorado and whether or not you believe Detroit and/or Texas are actually going to try. https://t.co/XTZnkKXwmd
— Nick Stellini (@StelliniTweets) November 10, 2021
This is probably the right count and I get it, but the Red Sox sold Mookie for parts, the Mariners just let Kyle Seager walk, I never know what the Angels are doing. They're not tanking but they're not trying very hard to win. https://t.co/qONm6g0afr
— Kate Feldman (@kateefeldman) November 10, 2021
The trade-deadline allows contenders to address areas of need while allowing non-contenders to off-load players they expect to lose at season's end for valuable prospects.— Jebo Barnes (@jebobarnes) November 11, 2021
Only Anthopolous saw the under .500 Braves as contenders.
Good for everyone except Big Money Boras.
I mean no one would like if the guy in last in their fantasy league traded his best players to the guy in the top 3, so I kinda understand his point, but it's also unfair to the players to be stuck on a losing team when a contender could use them— nicholas (@metsfanfromnj) November 11, 2021
He’s right. The Royals, Cubs and Indians literally gifted them really key players smh— Cesar Martinez (@CMart_091) November 11, 2021
Way for those teams to compete is to tank and get the best prospects they can, and trade away their best players for prospects. Tanking is an issue. No doubt. But the existence and operating methods of Scott Boras are a big reason why tanking has become so popular.— Beaneater Buzz (24-17) (@BeaneaterB) November 11, 2021
The Giants added Bryant. White Sox got Kimbrel. The Yankees added Gallo and Rizzo. Dodgers added Turner and Scherzer. Brewers added Adames. Braves added a guy hitting .192, 2 guys hitting .230 or below, and a guy who was on the IL.— Kirby’s Mart (@kirbyssmart) November 11, 2021
Scott Boras is why MLB is dying.— Reds 2022 - Do It For Joey (@Reds2022) November 11, 2021