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.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.