There was a time, in the not-too-distant past in fact, when bringing the name of agent Scott Boras up with Rangers fans would spark a wave of negative feedback.
It was Boras, after all, who helped get a record $250 million out of the Rangers for Alex Rodriguez. That was not the worst contract the Rangers signed with a Boras client. That honor goes to Chan Ho Park, who got five years and $65 million to bring his arm to Arlington before the 2002 season. Park ended up going 22-23 with a 5.79 ERA in his brief tenure before he was traded.
The mere fact Boras represented Mark Teixeira was only an added reason to look to deal him in the summer of 2007, though that was going to happen anyway. General manager Jon Daniels, just 1½ seasons on the job, knew he had to trade Teixeira to revamp the minor league system. It was Daniels' biggest trade and set the club on a course to contention.
But times have changed in regard to Boras within the Rangers' offices. I suspect that's the case with the fans, too. When the name "Boras" is on the caller ID, the Rangers answer and are even willing to negotiate. Want proof? Check out the probable top four of the Rangers' lineup for this season:
Shin-Soo Choo (around $130 million over seven years this offseason)
Elvis Andrus (signed extension in 2013, eight years, $120 million through 2022)
Prince Fielder (traded to Texas this offseason; club pays $138 million next seven seasons)
Adrian Beltre (signed five-year, $80 million deal, plus vesting option before 2011 season)
(The order of these four could change, but it's likely to be those four at the top of the lineup.)
That's a bunch of money and years tied up in Boras clients. By the way, Engel Beltre, who is out of options and will come to spring training hoping to make the roster as a depth outfielder, has Boras as his agent.
We'll see how these deals look as the years go by, but it's difficult to argue with what Beltre has given this team in his three seasons. Andrus, who came over in the trade for Teixeira, has matured into a solid player and is looking for more consistency this year. The Rangers wanted Fielder a few years ago, when he was on the market, but didn't want to pay what he ended up getting from Detroit. Now they've got him at a price they could have lived with a few years back (though of course they also missed out of the first two years of production from him in that deal). And in Choo, the Rangers get a player they can insert in the leadoff spot (if they choose) and is someone who can get on base and is patient, fitting in with how the team wants to operate under Dave Magadan's tutelage.
It shows the Rangers aren't afraid to deal with anybody if they think it will make the club better. That includes Boras, who to his credit continues to get terrific deals for most of his clients.