About a month after Bobby Seay was chosen by the Chicago White Sox in the first round of the 1996 draft, the pitcher filed a grievance to become a free agent, citing an obscure rule that required teams to make written offers to players within 15 days of selecting them. Seay won and signed with Tampa Bay for $3 million.
His advisor? Scott Boras.
The following year, J.D. Drew rejected an offer of about $3 million from the Philadelphia Phillies and signed with an independent league team. He reentered the draft in 1998 and signed a deal worth close to $9 million.
His agent? Also Boras.
Last year, Carter Stewart was chosen eighth overall by the Atlanta Braves. Concerns over his physical examination resulted in the Braves offering him less than half of the $4.98-million slot value of the pick, prompting Stewart to enroll in a junior college to ensure he would be eligible for the draft again this year. And before another team could select him next week, the 19-year-old right-hander signed a six-year, $6-million deal with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of Japan.
Care to guess who is representing him?
“Today is a momentous day,” Boras said Thursday at his office in Newport Beach, where the Hawks introduced Stewart as their newest player.
Momentous because of the freedom the deal could afford Stewart in the future. Momentous because this was a rare victory for a player, however minor.