Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Some draft drama in the Steel City

Well it appears there is a reason that second overall pick Pedro Alvarez has yet to report to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Apparently the Players Association, which filed a grievance on his behalf on Wednesday, is saying Alvarez verbally agreed to his $6MM bonus after the midnight deadline on August 15th.

Super agent Scott Boras informed the Pirates that Alvarez will not sign the contract unless it is renegotiated at a higher number. Remind me again why people in baseball dislike him?

Anyway here is the official statement from the Bucos:

"At the Pirates’ request, the Office of the Commissioner today placed Pedro Alvarez on Major League Baseball’s Restricted List. The Pirates were forced to request that Pedro be placed on the Restricted List because we were informed by his agent, Scott Boras, that Pedro will not sign the contract to which he agreed on August 15. Boras further informed us that Pedro will not report to the Club unless we renegotiate his contract and agree to pay him more than the $6 million signing bonus to which he agreed.

"The Major League Rules provide that a player who refuses to sign a Uniform Player Contract to which he has agreed and report to the signing Club shall, upon a report of the signing Club, be placed on the Restricted List until he signs a contract reflecting the terms to which he has agreed. Such a player may not sign a contract with or play for any other Club. While demanding that we renegotiate his contract and pay Pedro more than the $6 million signing bonus to which Pedro agreed, Mr. Boras has contended that the contract we reached with Pedro was consummated after the August 15 deadline. This claim was not raised on the evening of the 15th when we informed Mr. Boras that Major League Baseball had confirmed that the contract was submitted in a timely fashion. Mr. Boras asserted this claim several days later, after all of the draft signings had become publicized.

"The Pirates are confident that the contract reached with Pedro Alvarez was agreed to and submitted to Major League Baseball in a timely fashion and properly accepted by Major League Baseball. In fact, the contract between the Kansas City Royals and Eric Hosmer, another Boras client, was submitted to the Office of the Commissioner after our contract with Pedro was submitted. Mr. Boras is apparently satisfied with the $6 million bonus that he secured for Mr. Hosmer and has not challenged the validity of that contract. Mr. Boras has been informed that if he pursues a claim that our contract with Pedro was not timely he puts Eric Hosmer’s contract with Kansas City in jeopardy.

"The Pirates made several attempts to commence negotiations immediately following the draft and were willing and ready to agree to pay Pedro a $6 million signing bonus from the very outset. Predictably, however, Mr. Boras refused to engage in any negotiations at all until shortly before the August 15 deadline and even then an agreement was reached only after Pedro took control of the negotiations.

"Regrettably, we are not surprised that Mr. Boras would attempt to raise a meritless legal claim in an effort to compel us to renegotiate Pedro’s contract to one more to his liking. We are, however, disappointed that Pedro would allow his agent to pursue this claim on his behalf. Pedro showed tremendous fortitude and independent thinking when he agreed to his contract on August 15.

"The Office of the Commissioner has assured us that we have a valid contract with Pedro and that it will vigorously defend any claim to the contrary. Despite our disappointment, we continue to believe in Pedro Alvarez the person and the baseball player and remain excited to add Pedro to our system. We will sit down with Pedro and his family as soon as Mr. Boras’ claim is rejected to chart a new and much more productive start to Pedro’s career with the Pittsburgh Pirates."

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