A trip through the Scott Boras Spin Zone

The State of the Boras address usually occurs at the winter meetings and it may still, because Scott Boras loves to talk. But on Wednesday, the most famous agent in baseball spent some time running shtick with the media in the way that he usually does. That is, he gathered a giant scrum of reporters straining to get their recorders close enough to capture his words. Just a few feet away was a media workroom equipped with a podium and microphone where there could be a comfortable exchange, albeit less of a spectacle.It’s all about the spectacle when Boras speaks publicly. He’s excellent at his job, and that means advocating for his clients at every turn. Often, though, that means saying some things that don’t quite add up.MORE:  Johnny Cueto and his many suitors  | Stephen St

rasburg recently had surgery So, what did Boras say on Wednesday, and what words require some further examination? Let’s sift through the reports of the media members who took part in the Great Boras Huddle in Boca Raton.Scott Boras: qualifying offers represent something "wrong with baseball" since they impede free agents' rights— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) November 11, 2015Teams loathe giving up draft picks to sign free agents who are attached to qualifying offers while those same teams have gotten more aggressive this year in extending qualifying offers. It's gotten to the point where even Ian Kennedy got one (he was 9-15 with a 4.28 ERA and a 4.51 FIP this year and has a career ERA of 3.98 with a 3.99 FIP).Who’s going to give up a draft pick to sign Ian Kennedy? His market certainly is hurt by the qualifying offer, similiar to Stephen Drew's a few years back. Drew didn’t sign a contract until the middle of May 2014, when his market evaporated following the Red Sox's extending him a qualifying offer. Then again, you could also make the case that the qualifying offer would overpay Kennedy at $15.8 million for one year. The qualifying offer also is something that was collectively bargained between players and owners. It’s not owners’ fault that no player has ever decided to accept one, even though there are a few cases — like Drew and Kennedy — in which accepting one would be player-friendly.The agent for Drew and Kennedy? You guessed it, Scott Boras.Boras: Chris Davis' versatility makes him not only best outfielder on the market but also the best infielder.— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) November 11, 2015Chris Davis has played 71 games in the outfield in his career, posting a fielding percentage and range factor below league averages, while rating at minus-4 defensive runs saved. He has a 53-homer season and a 47-homer season on his resume and also struck out 208 times this year.For the year, Davis came out at 5.2 wins above replacement, best of any infielder now in free agency by a significant margin (David Freese is No. 2 at 2.3). Davis’ value would go down as an outfielder, though. There are two free-agent outfielders who rated better in WAR in 2015 than Davis — Jason Heyward at 6.5 and Yoenis Cespedes at 6.3, and both are Gold Glove winners.MORE: Where will Ben Zobrist be next season?Not that WAR is the end-all, be-all, but also note the Boras Corporation has never represented Cespedes or Heyward, not to mention Justin Upton.Davis is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in his career. Why didn’t Boras mention him as the best pitcher on the market, too?Scott Boras said industry revenues currently split 57/43 in favor of owners; he said they should be "divvied up in a different fashion."— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 11, 2015Well, OK, but it sounds like Boras is arguing for a predetermined share of revenue for players, like other sports have. There’s something else those other sports have: salary caps. If baseball owners are taking home more money than they really should be, that is because baseball players’ agents are not doing a good enough job negotiating big-money contracts for their clients.Asked about eventual long-term deal for Bogaerts w/ #RedSox , Boras said SS "very happy in Boston," cited strong relationship with coaches— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) November 11, 2015That’s nice. It also means absolutely nothing. Most players do not hire Boras with an eye toward negotiating extensions and giving away free-agent years.Here are the full comments from Scott Boras about Matt Harvey: pic.twitter.com/bDeCcDJ3Ss— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) November 11, 2015Not addressed: why the issue became public and a giant mess. Also not addressed: anything about the limit of 180 innings that Harvey talked about, that never actually seemed to exist. Not to mention, if things were settled after that conversation in August, why did the issue linger into September, seemingly unresolved until the middle of the month?Scott Boras on No. 3 pick in 2014, Carlos Rodon: "We felt that Carlos was clearly the best player in the draft... he proved that he was."— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) November 11, 2015Let’s pump the brakes here on what’s been proven. The first round of the 2014 draft featured six players who already have made the major leagues. Ordered by wins above replacement, they are Michael Conforto, Kyle Schwarber, Aaron Nola, Carlos Rodon, Brandon Finnegan and Trea Turner.Those six players all were drafted out of college. Plus, while Single-A is a long way from the majors, some of the first-round picks out of high school — catcher Chase Vallot and pitchers Jack Flaherty, Grant Holmes, Michael Kopech and Justus Sheffield — have done some very impressive things in the low minors that bode well for their futures.MORE: Yankees acquire Aaron Hicks from TwinsIt’s been 17 months since that draft. Rodon is a superb talent, but has he proved that he was the best player in the 2014 draft? We won’t have that answer for years.Boras on tanking: "We don't want a system where it is functionally beneficial for franchises to lose continually for a long period of time"— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) November 12, 2015Boras is right about this; tanking is garbage and benefits only owners. It is detrimental to players who don’t get money from teams that are cheaping out during a rebuild instead of going all out to win. Fans also have to suffer through years of bad baseball for a promise that may not come true.The rub is that the best way to eliminate tanking would be to eliminate the draft, making all players free agents as the system once was. But in the current system, where major league players are unionized and comfortable negotiating away the rights of non-major leaguers in order to get a bigger piece of the pie for themselves, this is a battle that will not be fought.If anything, you would expect there to be more concessions to owners on the draft. That would avoid paying big money to players who have never seen a day in the major leagues. There are valid arguments to be made on both sides of this issue. The most important one to note here is that tanking teams hurt Boras’ bottom line by being noncompetitive in the talent market. The draft hurts Boras’ bottom line by taking away the free market for the emerging players he represents.That’s what it always comes down to with Boras: what is best for Boras’ clients and Boras himself. That is how it should be, but it’s also worth keeping in mind that everything he says has to be viewed through that lens.