Baseball’s most influential agent said the sport was the victim of a “competitive cancer” caused by teams unloading veterans to accumulate draft picks and said the Braves’ World Series title was a direct result of others’ tanking.

Speaking Wednesday at the general managers’ meetings in Carlsbad, Calif., Scott Boras backed the demands of the players’ association for changes in the collective bargaining agreement that expires Dec. 1. The sport is braced for a lockout that would be baseball’s ninth work stoppage but first since 1995.

“This is the Easter Bunny delivering rotten eggs,” he said.

“Every team says, ‘I need to do this because it’s my only option, knowing I can’t reach a divisional crest, I can’t get in the playoffs.’"

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The Braves were 51-53 when they obtained outfielders Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall and Jorge Soler along with reliever Richard Rodriguez in four swaps in the hours before the July 30 trade deadline. The team also added outfielder Joc Pederson from the free-falling Cubs on July 15.

“We have seen the championship in 60 days,” Boras said. “The rules allow them to be a less-than-.500 team at Aug. 1 and add four players, five players from teams that no longer wanted to compete, and for very little cost change the entirety of their team and season.

"And we saw this unfold to the detriment of teams that create at vast expense, planning and intellect and won over 100 games. In doing all this, we have now created an understanding that a fan would not know who the true team is until, frankly, the trading deadline.”

Rosario was NL Championship Series MVP and Soler became World Series MVP as the Braves won their first title since 1995.

“The Atlanta Braves are the Atlanta Braves because tanking teams said, ‘I want to get to the bottom to get those draft picks,’" Boras said.

Caption
Braves outfielder and MVP Jorge Soler crushes a 3-run homer against the Astros during the third inning in game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in Houston. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Braves outfielder and MVP Jorge Soler crushes a 3-run homer against the Astros during the third inning in game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in Houston.   “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”
Caption
Braves outfielder and MVP Jorge Soler crushes a 3-run homer against the Astros during the third inning in game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in Houston. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Teams draft in the reverse order of their regular-season record.

Boras blames behavior on restraints imposed on amateur spending in 2012. The caps came as the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros undertook rebuilds that resulted in World Series titles, informing decisions by other clubs to tear down.

Boras represents many top draft picks and has lost revenue because of the system of draft signing pools that no team has exceeded by more than 5%.

“It created an incentive for the race to the bottom, because now we have half the major league teams at some time during the season being non-competitive, trading off their players, making the game and the season very different than what it was intended to be, and that was having an incentive to win every game that you play,” he said.

Boras represents five of the eight men on the union’s executive subcommittee: Zack Britton, Gerrit Cole, James Paxton, Max Scherzer and Marcus Semien, who switched his agency to Boras last month. Jason Castro, Francisco Lindor and Andrew Miller are the other members.

Castro, at $3.5 million, is the only one of the eight who earned under $12 million this year. Just 86 players among 1,695 who played in the major leagues this season earned $12 million or more as of Aug. 31, including prorated shares of signing bonuses.