Jon Heyman yesterday: “Strasburg’s agent Scott Boras is said to be using Matsuzaka’s $52 million bonus as the baseline. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t come off that number.”
At $15.1 million, I’d say they came off that number quite a bit. After months of having that $50 million number tossed around so casually, it’s kinda surprising that Strasburg ended up signing so far below his reported demands. A lot of other people are noticing that too and are thus calling this a big win for the Nats.
But then you have to remember two things. First, you have to remember that this deal is some 50% larger than the previous record, which was Mark Prior’s. Second, you have to remember that Boras has long been the type of guy who couldn’t be bothered with perception and P.R. and all of that — he just wants to get the money. Tell me: if someone told you that they were going to get you 50% more dough than anyone in your position ever got, wouldn’t you think you hit the jackpot? If you were told that you had to pay $50 for something and in the end, only had to pay $15, wouldn’t you think you got a bargain?
The net result of this is that if you followed the blow-by-blow of it all, it looks like Boras got his head handed to him. If you look at just the numbers, however, it was a great victory for team Boras. He created high expectations, by doing so ended up making his client a boatload of money and, like any good con man, made his mark — the Nats — happy to fork over the dough.
I have a good friend who often notes that It’s About the Money. I tend to believe him when he says that, and in light of it, I have to declare Scott Boras the victor here.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.