In the past week, two young Nationals players have changed agents and moved on from renowned agent Scott Boras. Both Luis Garcia and Keibert Ruiz have left Boras and signed with Octagon Baseball.
Why is this a big deal? Players change agents sometimes for various reasons. Scott Boras does his job well and his job is to make sure that he gets big contracts for his clients. His tactics usually lead to his players waiting until they hit free agency and then ultimately signing a huge contract…often times with a different team.
This is how baseball has changed. Gone are the days of players like Ryan Zimmerman, Derek Jeter, and David Ortiz. These were guys who stayed with their respective teams for over a decade, nearly two in Jeter’s case. (The Red Sox were Ortiz's second team but he was there for over ten years.) What made them unique was not only their loyalty but their willingness to concede in order to build a contending team. Ryan Zimmerman could have left when the going got rough, but he decided to stay and ultimately won a ring. Zimmerman even ended his Nats career signing a 1 year 1 million dollar deal. You would be hard-pressed to find someone else who would do that.
What I am preaching is not team loyalty or taking less money. It is simply good for baseball as a sport if guys sign long term deals and stay with the same club for a long time. Jeter, Ortiz, and Zimmerman were staples of their respective franchises and players that the whole city and even just casual fans could get behind. When players leave quickly it creates an unhealthy vibe where no one wants to buy jerseys and ultimately people lose interest because they know that their favorite players won't be around long-term.
The Nationals have signed long term deals with Zimmerman, Scherzer, Werth, and Strasburg but have also missed out on signing franchise favorites such as Bryce Harper, Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon, and Trea Turner. Teams like the Reds, and most notably the Pirates and Athletics, have ostracized their fan bases by not making even the slightest attempt to retain talent.
Luis Garcia and Keibert Ruiz moving on from Scott Boras provides a glimmer of hope that a long-term deal is more feasible before they hit free agency. (If they play well until then).