As Major League Baseball braces for its collective bargaining agreement to expire in December, the sport's most prominent and influential agent had plenty to say on Wednesday at the league's general managers meeting.
Speaking to reporters in Carlsbad, Calif., Scott Boras talked about how prevalent tanking has become throughout the sport and claimed the Braves winning the World Series was a direct result of rampant tanking from other clubs, calling the practice a "competitive cancer."
"We have seen the championship in 60 days," Boras said, per ESPN. "The rules allow them to be a less-than-.500 team at Aug. 1 and add four players, five players from teams that no longer wanted to compete and for very little cost change the entirety of their team and season.
"And we saw this unfold to the detriment of teams that create at vast expense, planning and intellect and won over 100 games. In doing all this, we have now created an understanding that a fan would not know who the true team is until, frankly, the trading deadline."
The Braves were 44–45 at the All-Star break and did not get above .500 until Aug. 6, shortly after they added four outfielders before the trade deadline. All four—Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall and Joc Pederson—played key roles in Atlanta winning its first championship since 1995.
Boras said the issue is the constraints placed on amateur spending, which were tightened in 2012 and limited signing bonuses for draft picks.
"It created an incentive for the race to the bottom, because now we have half the major league teams at some time during the season being noncompetitive, trading off their players, making the game and the season very different than what it was intended to be, and that was having an incentive to win every game that you play," Boras said.
The current CBA will expire on Dec. 1, which could trigger a lockout that would be MLB's first work stoppage since 1995.
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