Marvin Miller was always the smartest person in the room when taking on management as the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association.
The free agency and other players' rights won by Miller did more to create sports agents than any other factors.
Scott Boras, a failed ballplayer, entered that world in the early 1980s, including as the agent for pitcher Tim Belcher, the No. 1 overall draft choice in 1983 who went unsigned by the Twins.
Maybe it wasn't immediately, but soon enough Boras became the smartest person when entering a room of baseball people – small groups or large.
Evidence of this appeared again on Saturday morning when shocking news arrived that free agent Carlos Correa, shortstop of rare talent and strength, had signed a three-year, $105.3 million contract with the Twins.
The Twins had been linked to Trevor Story, a free agent shortstop from the Colorado Rockies. If there were suggestions that Correa, a better and presumably higher-priced free agent, was a Twins' option, I missed those.
And there's a reason for that: Boras is always 25 IQ points ahead of everyone else when it comes to innovative baseball solutions.
What happened Saturday was a drama that started back in November, as baseball owners were preparing to lock out big-league players on Dec. 2.
Boras beat the buzzer by getting two infielders signed with Texas for a combined $500 million: shortstop Corey Seager ($325M) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175M).
Correa was waiting by the curb with Story to enjoy the fruits of bidding wars as the lockout commenced. In mid-January, Correa released a statement confirming he had switched agents, from Greg Genske at William Morris Endeavor to Boras.
We must assume the switch came with an expression of confidence from Boras that Correa could get more than the $32.5 million Seager will average on his 10-year contract.
The Yankees chose not to bite and went to the Twins last weekend for a trade that brought a new left side of the infield: Josh Donaldson at third and Isiah Kiner-Falefa at shortstop.
Time was a-wastin' in this short spring training. And more than three decades show us that Boras is willing to wait to improve his chances to fulfill a promise to a client.
What team could afford a high-priced shortstop and have it to turn out to be for one season, allowing Boras a full offseason to market Correa in the winter of 2022-23?
You can see a cartoon bubble as large a globe above Boras' head:
The Twins just unloaded Donaldson for the purpose of saving $51 million for two seasons. Plus, the arrival of Royce Lewis as the Twins' shortstop was now delayed after he missed 2021 with knee surgery.
As luck would have it, Boras also was the agent for Lewis, going back to his selection by the Twins as the overall No. 1 choice in the June 2017 draft.
Yes, 34 years after failing to reach an agreement with Calvin Griffith's Twins on Belcher, Boras and Twins baseball boss Derek Falvey made quick work of signing Lewis to a $6.725 million bonus as the No. 1 pick.
And when the now 69-year-old agent starts spinning those Boras dreams – of angels in sunshine and rivers of red wine – for all parties … the scenario must be mesmerizing:
"Derek, you're getting the best shortstop in the game for what you were going to pay Donaldson and an Andrelton Simmons replacement in 2022, and if Carlos has a big year and loves it in Minnesota, we can work out something, and if not, Carlos leaves, and you have your shortstop … my young man Royce, still only 23 at the start of next season.''
You not only convinced Falvey, Thad Levine, Rocco Baldelli and Jim Pohlad, and Byron Buxton, Jorge Polanco, and Sonny Gray, agent Boras, you also convinced me.
Getting Correa on this three-year deal that includes a nearly certain opt-out after Year 1 is not the dreaded variety of "rent-a-player.''
That type is when you give potentially valuable assets for a veteran player near the trading deadline in the hope of reaching and advancing in the postseason.
The Twins are giving up nothing for Correa except money.
Meaning: they still have younger talent to trade for a starting pitcher — how about batsman Austin Martin and an unproven young starter for Oakland's Frankie Montas? — and now a lineup that could squeeze into the AL's top six in 2022.
Then, presuming Correa leaves, there are millions to extend Montas (or a similar pitcher), and Lewis seizes shortstop.
Angels. Rivers of red wine. Thanks, Mr. Boras.