Boras playing by baseball's rules 

November, 29, 2010

The story from last week that Scott Boras gave $70,000 in loans to client Edward Salcedo, now playing in Atlanta's farm system, sounded like impropriety. Given the recent stories about Auburn quarterback Cam Newton and former football agent Josh Luchs, it seemed like another bad week for the idea of amateurism.

But Major League Baseball isn't like the NFL or college football, and there is a very significant difference between an unsigned baseball player in the United States or Canada and one in the Dominican Republic or elsewhere outside of the reach of the Rule 4 draft.

I spoke to Boras about the allegations, and again, he asserted that he did not give money to any player before said player's 16th birthday. He also says he did not give money to any player to induce him to become or remain a Boras client. All money given to the Salcedo family was in the form of loans, totaling $70,000, a total the family should be able to repay easily given Salcedo's ultimate signing bonus of $1.6 million from Atlanta. Boras also said that his agency reported every payment to the union, even though at the time there was no strict reporting requirement for agents who loaned money to professional clients.

Given that account, and my understanding of the union's rules on loans to players both before and after some recent changes, I see no evidence of malfeasance here, regardless of how it sounds on its face. Here's why: