So the Aug. 15 signing deadline really isn’t a deadline after all.
More than a month after the actual signing deadline passed, the Pirates and Pedro Alvarez, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, agreed to the parameters of a new contract. The deal, reported first by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, gives Alvarez a major league contract that is worth a guaranteed $6.355 million. Alvarez initially had accepted a straight $6 million from bonus, either just before or just after–according to the source–the midnight ET deadline on Aug. 15.
While the Post-Gazette reported that the contract’s present value is closer to $5.67 million, BA has learned from another source in the industry that Alvarez will make nearly $1 million more than the original deal would have paid him before he become arbitration-eligible. The discrepancy results from different accounting methods, though it seems unlikely that the Scott Boras Corp. would have negotiated a lesser deal after believing its client had been wronged.
Alvarez never signed his original bonus agreement, and Boras argued that the former Vanderbilt third baseman had reached the deal after the midnight deadline, in violation of collectively bargained draft rules because Major League Baseball unilaterally extended the signing deadline without consulting the Major League Baseball Players Association. The MLBPA agreed and filed a grievance on Alvarez’s behalf. The first hearing on the grievance was held Sept. 10.
Sunday night’s agreement may reflect that the Pirates and MLB thought they had a lot to lose if the grievance was resolved. The Pirates didn’t want to risk having Alvarez become a free agent–or at least become ineligible to sign with them–and they do after all get the draft’s No. 1 talent, as rated by Baseball America, into their organization.
Major League Baseball didn’t want Alvarez to become a free agent either, and if it had to lean on former employee Frank Coonelly, now the Pirates’ president, to give Alvarez a little extra cash, then that’s better than having another player poke holes in the draft process.
Alvarez now actually gets to play baseball and get paid for it.
What does Boras get out of it, other than a hefty commission? A contract number that he can claim is the largest out of the 2008 draft, at least on its face larger than the $6.2 million bonus that Buster Posey and his agents at Creative Artists Agency got from the Giants.
Contributing: Jim Callis.
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