Major League Baseball placed Alvarez, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 draft out of Vanderbilt, on the restricted list Wednesday, at Pittsburgh's request. At the same time, the Major League Baseball Players Association has filed a grievance challenging what it calls MLB's "unilateral decision" to extend the signing deadline to allow several players to get deals done...
Several sources have confirmed to Baseball America that MLB extended the signing deadline by as much as 45 minutes to allow Eric Hosmer (another Boras client) to reach a deal with the Royals that included a $6 million bonus.
Speculation in baseball circles was that Alvarez—who reached an agreement with the Pirates for a $6 million bonus—and Missouri righthander Aaron Crow—who could not come to terms with the Nationals—received similar extensions, though Baseball America has not been able to confirm that.
The idea that Major League Baseball allowed the Pirates to negotiate with Alvarez past the deadline contradicts the Post-Gazette's account, which had the agreement occurring at 11:58:
How exactly this deal got done remains to be fully unfurled, but this much already is known: Alvarez's agent, Scott Boras, followed his recent pattern of taking negotiations to the closing minutes before ultimately calling Huntington -- the team's lone voice in the talks -- to accept. The Pirates, according to one person intimately familiar with those talks, never budged off their number, and Boras' call came at 11:58 to accept.
Of course, if the Pirates were allowed to continue their negotiations with Alvarez and reach an agreement after the deadline, that would explain why the news of the signing was not announced until nearly an hour after the deadline had passed, and why nobody was hearing anything a half hour after the deadline had passed.
The union may actually have a case here. The union hasn't revealed what it wants to actually happen, so we'll see how this unfolds.
Boras, meanwhile, is mysteriously urging the Pirates to "come clean."