SBD/March 26, 2013/Franchises

Boras Blasts MLB Free Agency Compensation In Wake Of Brewers Signing Lohse

Boras says there is something corrupt in MLB's free agent signing process
The Brewers after signing P Kyle Lohse to a three-year, $33M deal "must forfeit the 17th pick in the first round" of this year's MLB Amateur Draft, and Lohse's agent Scott Boras "blasted MLB for forcing teams to make that choice in trying to improve their roster," according to Tom Haudricourt of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. The Brewers under MLB's new compensation system lose the draft pick and the "pool money allotted for that slot" because the Cardinals offered him a free agent qualifying offer. The loss of the draft pick "was a sticking point for the Brewers in negotiations," and it "forced Boras to come down from his original asking price" of four years and $60M. Brewers President of Baseball Operations & GM Doug Melvin said, "Every general manager likes to have a first-round draft pick. But that's the way the system is." Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio was "heavily involved in the discussions with Boras," and had "created financial flexibility for such a move by dropping the payroll" from $100M in '12 to about $80M this year. The team's payroll will now "rise to about" $84M (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 3/26). FOXSPORTS.com's Jon Paul Morosi notes MLB implemented a "new compensation system for free agents this year" in which teams could make $13.3M qualifying offers "to any of their own free agents" who spent the entire '12 season on the team. Nine free agents -- including Lohse and Nationals 1B Adam LaRoche -- "received a qualifying offer in November." Each player "rejected it, meaning a new team would need to surrender its highest pick in order to sign one of them." Perhaps "equally significant, the acquiring teams ... had to give up the signing-bonus allocation associated with the pick." Boras said, "When you have a system that does not reward performance, you know we have something corrupt in the major league process" (FOXSPORTS.com, 3/26).
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