So what's going on with A-Rod? He announces he's talking directly to the Steinbrenners about returning to the Yankees, and apparently Boras isn't at all involved (the Yankees refuse to speak to A-Rod with Boras as part of the negotiations). There are two very different possibilities here: (1) he really wants back, knowing the best way to salvage his reputation is to take a pay cut (of at least the $21.3M the Rangers were going to pay him). (2) Boras is involved, but not directly - the Angels told him $30M max, less than he would've gotten with his old contract, so they concocted this whole scheme making it seem like there is a bidding war. I honestly don't know - either one seems plausible (though both are sort of ridiculous). I guess I hope it's the first one, because (a) I don't want him on the Red Sox; (2) I honestly like to think he's a good person, with a lot of this BS based on an honest mistake rather than malice/classlessness; (iii) it's sort of awesome to think he made a $20M mistake; and (D) this would seriously damage Boras's reputation, among both the players and the owners.
Also, if he does sign a contract without Boras involved, Boras still gets his 10% cut, right? I feel that must be in the agent's contract that the cut is guaranteed no matter who does the negotiation; otherwise players would be able to let the agents do 99% of the work, then fire them at the last second and not have to pay anything.
Update: NY Daily News says they're close to a 10-year, $270M contract. NY Post says they're still pursuing Mike Lowell, for first base. Ulp.
Update update: Channel 7 reports that 4 teams (Braves, Cards, Angels, Yanks) offered him four-year contracts, $15-16M/year. I'm sorry, but that's just too much. If he follows the money...oh well. (Hopefully he won't end up on the Yankees.) I suppose since they cite just a "source", it could easily be his agent, trying to get Boston to offer something bigger.
Update update update: Yep, looks like Channel 7 was wrong. Cards are denying making any offer, and other sources (1-2 days old) say the Angels and Yankees aren't interested in a fourth year.
Another update: apparently by the collective bargaining agreement, no team can refuse to meet with a player's agent. And so this whole "Scott Boras is not involved" thing is basically untrue. Damn this is fun.