NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball agent Scott Boras’ company supplied tens of thousands of dollars in loans and payments to the families of needy prospects in the Dominican Republic, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
The report cited people with ties to Boras. The Times said the loans and payments raise questions about whether his company broke Major League Baseball Players Association rules governing the conduct of agents.
Boras is perhaps baseball’s most powerful agent. The Times said that in a statement he declined to say whether any loans were made, but he acknowledged his company had “aided” players and families in the past.
Boras said such assistance has always been “consistent with” players’ union rules, which are in place to prevent prospects from becoming financially obligated to agents, The Times said.
According to union regulations, loans of more than $500 per year made by agents to players and their families are forbidden unless the reason for the loan is revealed to the union, The Times said.
A spokesman for the players’ association declined to comment about whether the loans made by Boras’ company had been disclosed to the union, The Times said.
“This is a serious issue that raises concerns about the business practices of agents who have played a prominent role in the game,” a spokesman for Major League Baseball said in a written statement to The Times.
Domingo Ramos, a former big league player who works for Boras’ company, told The Times that the company typically represented a few top Dominican prospects each year and made loans to a majority of them. The money was usually used for food, housing and other needs, he said.
“Sometimes we get it back, sometimes we don’t,” Ramos told The Times. “Sometimes, it’s tough to get it back. It’s as simple as that.”
The Times said Boras’ company loaned teenage client Edward Salcedo and his family about $70,000 from 2007-09, according to the shortstop’s brother, Thommy, and Martiris Hanley, a former Boras employee. They said the money was to be repaid out of Salcedo’s future earnings.
Salcedo, however, hired a new Dominican trainer in 2009 and landed a $1.6 million contract with the Atlanta Braves last February, The Times reported. One of Boras’ employees called the family days later and demanded immediate repayment of the loan, Thommy Salcedo told the newspaper.
“We thought that if we went with another agent, Boras was going to put more pressure on us for this money, and my mother had so much debt that she couldn’t pay it,” Thommy Salcedo said.
He told The Times that his brother returned to Boras.
Edward Salcedo, 19, batted .197 with two homers and 16 RBIs in 54 games at Class-A Rome this year. He said he was still represented by Boras and had not repaid the money, The Times reported.
“We’ll get it back,” Ramos told The Times.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.