Rich Lederer writes for BaseballAnalysts.com,
"Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?"
- Coldplay, Viva La Vida
Jon Heyman has done it again. He broke another story on Friday when reporting that Jason Varitek had "reached a two-year agreement with the Red Sox."
In typical Heyman fashion, he wanted to make sure that everyone knew that "SI.com was the first to report that Varitek had an agreement with Boston." To that, I say "big deal." OK, maybe I didn't use the word "deal." I mean, this doesn't go down as some sort of exclusive or investigative reporting.
While the signing won't be officially announced until Varitek completes his physical, the Red Sox had placed a Friday deadline on an official proposal that was delivered via registered mail to him and agent Scott Boras on January 23. In other words, it was no secret that something was going to happen that day. Either Varitek was going to accept or reject Boston's offer.
If you're wondering how Heyman got wind of the news before any of the Boston beat writers or columnists, be aware that he had Mark Teixeira going to the Yankees before anyone else and, according to his biography, also "broke the story of Barry Bonds going to the Giants in 1992...Alex Rodriguez going to the Yankees in 2004, A-Rod opting out of his $252-million contract in 2007 and Manny Ramirez going to the Dodgers in 2008."
Varitek. Teixeira. Manny. A-Rod 2x. Bonds, vintage 1992. Do you notice anything in common? Yes, all of these players are or were represented by Boras at the time of their signings. It is plainly obvious that Heyman, known among fellow writers as scottboras.com, is getting fed such stories by Scott himself, which is fine and dandy except there is more going on here than meets the eye.
You see, Boras throws Heyman a bone on a Tek or Tex signing but also uses him to spread rumors about the level of interest and terms in ongoing free agent negotiations to create a false sense of demand. Teams that fall for this trick wind up competing against themselves, which is exactly what Boras desires.
While Boras is no fool, Heyman is a tool for the Scott Boras Corporation. Boras knows how to game the system to get the best deals for his clients and will gladly use Heyman as long as the latter plays along or until the market realizes what is going on. As it stands now, it's almost as if Heyman, who is no stranger to the Boras suites during the winter meetings, is on the SBC payroll.
You can see these shenanigans at work in Heyman's recent stories about a few other Boras clients, including Joe Crede, Oliver Perez, and Derek Lowe. But these are relatively innocent in comparison to following the Boras, Heyman & Co. saga as it relates to Manny. (To see all the proofs, click here).
Shout out to EddiePerez23 for the find.
To see why exactly Heyman blocked me on Twitter, click here. You'll laugh. Then think Jon has issues. Then feel bad for laughing.