Two new points to consider. From the PBC:
Scott Boras phoned from California to give this quote: "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."This from Baseball America:
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.
A bit of a picture is beginning to emerge and I think I can speculate a little further (and remember, without the real details that's all we're doing right now: speculating). There's at least a decent chance that the extensions from the Commissioner's Office won't hold up in front of a judge or arbitrator if the MLBPA wasn't asked about or didn't agree to them. There's no way Boras is pushing this issue if he doesn't have a leg to stand on. What I'm guessing that Boras wants is for the Pirates to renegotiate with Alvarez for any amount of money at all to avoid the prospect of having the contract voided by a judge or arbitrator. Even if it's only for $200,000, a precedent will be set for renegotiation after the signing deadline, and the deadline itself is rendered relatively useless. That's still what I think this is about and I don't think Boras would be doing it without some kind of real plan of attack.
UPDATE: In his chat at ESPN today, Jim Callis indicates he thinks this may be about Alvarez going over Boras to accept his contract. It very well may be, but I think this is going deeper than that, as indicated above.