There are no easy answers when it comes to agents
Answering a few questions from our site editor, Rob Bradford, regarding the world of agents …
Bradford: When you hear about the kind of negotiations Mark Teixeira is going through, what stands out?
Me: The mass of misinformation everyone works off of. So little of the facts are ever really that. It’s the ultimate form of second-hand information and in many cases you get people making ‘educated’ guesses, figuring if they’re wrong, so what, but if they are right they ‘broke’ the story.
Bradford: How much interaction with Scott Boras have you had, if any? Did you ever contemplate joining forces with him?
Me: Almost none other than going up against him on a talk show in Philly after the JD Drew draft. I’ve thought about it when thinking about next season. Bottom line is if you want to scrap every penny you can from the bottom of the barrel, leave nothing on the table, he’s your guy. That being said I’ve spoken at length with Jason about him, a guy I have a ton of respect for, and Jason considers him a very close friend, so that means something to me.
Bradford: When is important to have an agent?
Me: When you are drafted. When you go to arbitration. The first time you become a free agent. Every time you become a free agent after that if you CANNOT handle the pressure of a negotiation yourself, or if you are not comfortable with any parts of negotiating on your behalf.
Bradford: When should a player contemplate going without an agent?
Me: Depends on the player really. If you are smart enough and pay attention to the market you could consider your first go-around in free agency (though I think I might only recommend that for a college drafted player if at all) but more often than not your second free agent go around would likely be better.
Bradford: What characteristics do players look for when selecting agents?
Me: I hired my second and last agent and went into that process with really only one hard piece of criteria. I told myself I’d interview the 30-plus agents and after the first interviews I’d pare it down and eliminate anyone in the first round that bad mouthed another agent or agency in any way. After 30 some interviews there was only one agency that didn’t do that.
Bradford: How much control does an agent have over the process?
Me: Again that is player dependant. Some agents run the entire process at the players request, others serve as go betweens and advisors. Depends on what you want for your percent.
Keep sending in questions — either on this page, or in the comments section — for a mailbag (coming in the not-so-distant-future).