Pedro Alvarez, the number two overall pick in June's draft and the subject of this very website's sub-heading at this time last year, has been placed on the restricted list in a bizarre scenario. Alvarez is represented by Scott Boras, the slimiest of agents, who in 1996 found himself a little loophole in the draft rules whereby he could get some of his clients, including the White Sox pick Bobby Seay, declared free agents. That loophole has since been closed, with major league baseball instituting an August 15th signing deadline for everyone but college seniors, but it appears as if Boras and Alvarez are trying to find, or perhaps create, another such loophole.
The center of the dispute seems to surround the timing of signing. MLB, as it did with Boras clients Julio Bourbon and Eric Hosmer, allowed a nominal extension after the August 15th deadline. Boras seems to be claiming that this somehow makes the deal void, and wants to renegotiate the contract (read: get more money). Upon reading the Pirates "600 word statement" on the matter, Boras issued one of his own.
"The Pirates violated Major League Baseball rules and have issued a nearly 600-word statement, made their actions look to be my fault. I think it's time for the Pirates and Mr. Coonelly to come clean with the fans of Pittsburgh and let everyone know about their dealings with Mr. Alvarez."As of this moment, it appears that an aribter will decide the fate of Alvarez. It's likely that he'll have three possible courses of action (as stated by the Post-Gazette):
It's easy to see why the Sox choose not to deal with Boras.
Scrap the previous agreement and send the Pirates and Alvarez into new negotiations. This is known to be the preference of Alvarez's renowned agent, Scott Boras, who would welcome the chance at a higher bonus. But there is no precedent for such a decision.
Allow Alvarez to go back into the draft class for next year. The Pirates picked him No. 2 overall June 5, and they would be compensated with No. 3 overall next year.
Decide that his ruling should apply only to future instances.