Two things that Scott Boras is universally considered to hate are small market teams and contract extensions before free agency. Could the KC Royals change that, at least in their case?
Yesterday, the KC Royals reached a two year extension with Mike Moustakas, locking him in through the remainder of his arbitration years. This comes a year after the Royals locked in fellow Scott Boras client, Eric Hosmer, to a similar contract, providing the mutual benefit of cost certainty for the team and guaranteed money for both players.
In theory, the Royals should not be a team that Boras would appreciate. He is notorious for looking to get every last dollar for his clients. His strong views on the economic landscape of baseball, where he has gone so far as to decry the way teams like the Astros have built themselves back into contention, is well known. Yet, the Royals have five players represented by Boras or his agency, including Ian Kennedy, who they signed this offseason.
In fact, it appears as though the Royals and Boras have quite the positive relationship, a rather interesting development given that David Glass had not been known for opening up the checkbook until recently. Yet, here we have two of his clients signing extensions through their remaining arbitration years, instead of dragging out the process year to year in an attempt to maximize their earnings.
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As unlikely as it may be, this could signify a bit of a change in policy. Boras has stated in the past that he is not opposed to discussing a long term extension for his clients prior to free agency, should that be their wish. Could these two year deals, signed by both Moustakas and Hosmer, be a part of setting the groundwork for such a deal?
As with Hosmer, the Royals will want to see that Moustakas’ breakout 2015 performance was more than a one year resurgence. However, if he can replicate his performance last season, or even improve upon those numbers, then Moustakas could play himself into the discussion for another extension.
That is where this positive relationship could pay off. The Royals and Boras appear to be on the same page in terms of getting proper compensation for their players, and this relatively new willingness to invest heavily into the team may persuade Boras to engage in conversations that he typically would not. Instead of the usual adversarial positions between a front office and an agent, the Royals and Boras appear to have developed a relationship that is, at minimum, mutually beneficial.
Scott Boras may not typically look to discuss extensions before free agency, but he also does not typically have a great relationship with front offices in baseball. However, he and the KC Royals appear to have quite the positive relationship, which may help the Royals if they wish to open discussions for a long term extension for either Eric Hosmer or Mike Moustakas.