SURPRISE, Arizona - Hurt by Big Deals Gone Bad - A-Rod, Chan Ho Park, Ian Kinsler, etc. - Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels willingly talked me off the ledge: Four of the Rangers' top four players in the lineup are clients of super agent Scott Boras.
Prince Fielder, 7 years, $168 million
Shin Soo Choo, 7 years, $130 million
Adrian Beltre, 6 years, $96 million (signed 1/11)
Elvis Andrus, 8 years, $120 million (signed 4/13)
Whatever you think about Boras, the man gets his clients - and in turn, himself - paid. That's the priority, and what he does. If the team wins? Gravy. The contract is guaranteed, which is what ultimately matters to the agent.
"It's a lot of risk," Daniels said of the long-term deals. "It is a lot of risk.
"We got a lot of the same questions when we signed Adrian. That was five years (team option sixth). It was the same thing when we signed Yu Darvish, and that $50 million post."
Why are the Rangers OK with this risk?
"The Prince acquisition, the net deal - we traded Ian's contract, so take that off the top. So $168 is down to $106, and (the Tigers) are going to pay $30 of his salary. As a net incrased committment, it's $76 million - that's one way to look at it. Listen, I think this guy is going to age well, and produce. Players always want more, and teams want to pay less. That's the nature of the beast.
"I acknowledge in long term deals there is risk. What I am most confident in, the way I justified it to ownership, is that our system is going to produce players. Our system has to produce. Our system - the guys on the backfields - we have to produce impact starters and impact regulars. They are going to be needed to balance the payroll in time. I feel very good about what we have. They are just not major league ready. We have two middle infielders and probably five starters that are going to start at Double A that are relatively close. But our corner bats are at A ball."
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