Earlier this morning we saw Scott Boras talking up his prized left field client, Matt Holliday. Well, Boras has nother leftfield client about to become a free agent too. His name is Johnny Damon, and Boras has some opinions on that guy as well:
“Not that I’ve been thinking about this, but players who can get on the field every day and score 100 runs, how many guys do that? Johnny just plays, and he’s got the body type that allows him to do that. If stem-cell research were around, you’d want to tap into that gene pool. He’s (35), but has a 30-year-old’s body. He plays much younger.”
Whatever. We know Boras makes his bones by talking up his dudes. The question I have is what he does when he’s in a negotiation with a team over Holliday, and the team says “well Scott, I think we’d reather pay your boy Damon less than half of Holliday’s salary, but still a lot for Damon, in order to fill our left field needs.”
Conflict of interest, right? One way to get around it is to have subordinates handle either Damon or Holliday’s negotiation while Boras handles the other. But do you think Damon or Holliday hired Boras and expect to be handled by a junior agent?
The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.
Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:
Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:
In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.
The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.
The Athletics called up their top prospect on Saturday, inserting shortstop Franklin Barreto into the lineup for their second game against the White Sox. Barreto was originally scheduled to make his major league debut on Sunday, but got a head start after Jed Lowrie sustained a minor knee sprain in Friday’s 3-0 win and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.
Barreto, 21, has been rapidly climbing the rungs of the A’s minor league system after getting dealt by the Blue Jays in 2014. He got his first taste of Triple-A action late last year, going 6-for-17 with three RBI and getting caught stealing in two attempts. He fared little better this spring, slashing .281/.326/.428 with eight home runs and a .754 OPS through his first 309 PA in Nashville.
While his minor league production has been solid, if underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber, the A’s are expected to give the rookie infielder a long leash with both Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder sitting on the disabled list. Pinder landed on the 10-day DL after suffering a left hamstring strain on Friday. Semien, meanwhile, is still working his way back from the 60-day DL with a right wrist fracture and likely won’t rejoin the team until he completes a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton.