Real quick, we should probably talk about media leaks and the motives behind them. It's an issue that seems of particular relevance on Tuesday when, depending on which Northwest team you follow, a leak to a media has likely jolted you for a moment. Relax. Everything will be fine, but examine the sources to understand what's going on.
Let's start with this one:
Two agents say the #Mariners are claiming they only have $3-4 million left to spend on the roster this winter.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 10, 2012
According to one of those agents, Prince Fielder-to-Seattle speculation is "extremely overblown.'' #Mariners— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 10, 2012
Sports talk radio is going to outstanding this afternoon. Before jumping off that bridge -- we know you love Prince Fielder, we know you want him at any cost -- consider what Crasnick spelled out to you. The information came from agents -- one of which is likely connected to Fielder.
Why would agents leak this news to Crasnick all of the sudden? Simply, everything is about money here -- leaks are calculated and done for the exclusive benefit of the agent and their client. This isn't about you, Mr. Public, being more informed: It's about publicly pressuring a team.
The Mariners may very well be significantly cutting payroll for this coming year; A $10 million slash, according to David Cameron. It's possible the team is lopping off that much money, but highly unlikely. Instead, consider that both agents who spoke to Crasnick were angling for money -- the Mariners have been slow to spend; this is a way to use the media in an effort to nudge the team to open their wallet. It's not difficult to know that leaking that Seattle is essentially done spending would create hysteria.
The second story involves a Northwest head coach: Chip Kelly. Observe:
Chip Kelly's name has surfaced on the internet in association to the open Miami Dolphin's head coaching job. And a source close to Kelly's agent says he was contacted by the team, though the extent of that contact isn't known.
Given a teed-up opportunity, an agent will always take it. The words "Have you been contacted by such-and-such team?" always translate to "Would you like to angle your client for more money?" Kelly's involvement with the Dolphins was denied by a team executive, but that won't stop Oregon fans from wondering if doom and gloom -- in the form of abandonment -- is around the corner.
And again, relax. It may end up resulting in a bit more money for Kelly at some point -- a coach can be the highest-paid in the land; agents still want more -- but he seems happy where he's at.
So remember in all of this: Agents work on commission and will use any available resource to angle for more money. And in an effort to reach that goal, we all become pawns in the game.