It is no secret that being a Boras client means long negotiations, and big contracts. In baseball, no one has gotten bigger pay for his clients than Boras, and often times he's even fooled teams to overpay players. He is a master of leverage, and master of perks. His contracts are often laced with incentives and little advantages that help sweeten the pot for his player. Whether its getting Daisuke Matsuzaka free plane rides from Japan or getting A-Rod millions if he goes on a homerun chase, Boras knows how to get the most out of any team out there.
So it is no surprise that the Pirates would hire Boras to help negotiate contracts for them. Not the Pittsburgh Pirates mind you, but the Somali Pirates that keep hijacking ships off of the Coast of Aden.
"It is with great pleasure that I announce that I will represent a group of Somali Pirates in all contract negotiations with different governments and shipping agencies." Read Scott Boras' official press release. "I look forward to working with my new clients and assuring that they are being represented honestly and are getting paid fair value. The days of exploiting pirates is over."
The question of whether Boras could be as effective in negotiating for pirates as he was negotiating for baseball players was answered after his first discussion with the Dutch government over a hijacked ship carrying a shipment of tires and a crew of 230. Boras was able to negotiate $2.8 million for the tires, and another $2.6 million for the crew.
"I used leverage to up the ante. I told them that the tires alone were worth at least $5 million, and that if they didn't buy them back I would sell them to the French who would undoubtedly pay for them. The Dutch wanted to negotiate so I would pretend that my phone was ringing and I'd answer like 'Hi, France? Yeah, how much do you want to give for these tires? Oh, really? The Dutch don't want to pay that much. I guess that makes the dutch a bunch of pansies.', and then the Dutch would up their position. It was flawless negotiating."
Boras' new clients were impressed. "Its all about the perks." Stated one satisfied Pirate whose name loosely translates to Captain Sea Dragon. "Boras not only got us our money, but he also got the Dutch to throw in $1,000 for every crew member not harmed, $10,000 if the ship didn't smell of alcohol, and even got them to throw in 2-dozen pounds of qat to sweeten the deal."
Qat, a mild narcotic popular in the region, has been thrown in to every Boras negotiation, including those back in the states.
"I thought it strange that Manny didn't want to take the contract we offered him." Explained Ned Colletti, the General Manager for the Dodgers. "When we sat down to negotiate with him, Boras said that the money was fine, but there was no qat in the contract. We thought it was some legal term, but when my lawyers couldn't find it anywhere we figured it was slang for incentives. When we started drafting some incentives, Boras was like 'I need at least 10 pounds of qat.' After that we withdrew our offer thinking he was mocking us. Not only because of the qat thing, but also because he took to wearing an eye patch throughout the negotiations. We figured he wasn't taking us seriously."
"I think the qat might be messing with him." Said General Manager Brian Cashman. "I talked with Boras the other day, and he seemed a little out there."
Cashman provided a transcript of the conversation he had with Boras over the phone:
Boras: Hi, I have a crew of 115 of your people here, and I want to find a way to get them back to you.
Cashman: Boras, this is Brian Cashman. You have the wrong number.
Boras: Who? Brian? From the Yankees?
Cashman: Yeah. Brian Cashman.
Boras: Oh. Well, you want 115 sailors?
Boras: Do you have some qat?
Cashman hangs up.
Despite his new found interest in mild narcotics, Boras remains the best at what he does.
As Captain Sea Dragon recalls: "He once got us $2.5 million from the Italian government for a crew of 200 people. The crew wasn't even Italian."
"When it comes to negotiating, you just need to be confident." Explained Boras. "Confident and high on qat. Those two are a winning combination."