Just as the robin is the harbinger of spring, Scott Boras overselling his free agent clients in a distracting manner during the playoffs is the first sign of hot stove season:
Scott Boras threw out the ceremonial first pitch in free agency
today, comparing Matt Holliday to Mark Teixeira in the impact the agent
believes each player can have on a club.
“These guys are blue-collar superstars,” Boras said. “They don’t hit
50 home runs, but they’re complete players. They can give you something
without swinging a bat. . . .There are differences between hitters and complete players,” Boras said. “Matt Holliday is a complete player. “There is, frankly, no one like him in the market.”
Holliday is a nice player. He’s going to help whoever signs him. He is not, however, some unique thing in the world and certainly not a player worthy of the Full Boras Treatment.
Jason Bay doesn’t have Holliday’s glove, but he’s kind of like him. Johnny Damon isn’t going to produce near his level, but he’ll probably cost a fraction of Matt Holliday this year. Matt Holliday is not the kind of player a team is going to want to be paying eight figures to six or seven years from now like Boras is going to demand that they do. I’d argue that that goes for almost any corner player.
If you don’t believe me, ask the Cubs, who will be paying Alfonso Soriano until my kids are in grad school.
It was only a matter of time before Mike Trout courted another all-time record, and on Saturday, he found himself in elite company with his 25th and 26th home runs of the season. He put the Angels on the board with a 429-foot blast in the first inning, depositing an 0-1 fastball from the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman into the left field bleachers:
In the third inning, with the Angels up 2-1, Trout returned to tack on another insurance run. He targeted Gausman’s slider for his second solo shot of the evening and cleared the center field fence with a 418-footer to bring his total to 26 home runs on the year.
Trout has mashed at a staggering .339/.471/.596 clip since his return from the disabled list last month, and Saturday’s totals helped mark his sixth consecutive season with at least 25 home runs. That’s a record few have matched before their age-26 season; in fact, only Hall of Fame sluggers Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson have ever pulled it off.
Assuming he continues to rake in hits and plate appearances over the last six weeks of the regular season — and there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t — Trout is in line to join elite company of a different kind. The 26-year-old entered Saturday’s game with a 206 OPS+ (park-adjusted on-base plus slugging). According to MLB.com’s Matt Kelly, that means Trout’s hitting at a better clip than the average Major League player by a full 106 percent. Should he finish the year with a 200 OPS+ and 502 plate appearances or better, he’ll be the first player to do so since Barry Bonds obliterated the competition with his 263 OPS+ in 2004.
The Blue Jays acquired right-hander Tom Koehler from the Marlins in exchange for minor league right-hander Osman Gutierrez and cash considerations, the clubs announced Saturday. Koehler is in his sixth year with the Marlins and stands to make $5.75 million in 2017. He’ll be arbitration eligible in 2018 and is set to enter free agency by 2019.
The 31-year-old right-hander struggled to a 7.92 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 55 2/3 innings with Miami in 2017. He was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in late July, where he rebounded with a 1-1 record in seven starts and whittled his ERA down to a 1.67 mark. The Blue Jays have yet to establish Koehler’s role within their organization, but are hoping to see a turnaround from the righty when he breaks back into the big leagues.
Gutierrez, 22, was assigned to Single-A Greensboro on Saturday. He has yet to find his footing in the minors, and exited a 78-inning stint with Single-A Lansing after racking up a career-worst 7.85 ERA and 8.2 SO/9. His lack of control is particularly alarming, with a 6.2 BB/9 that dwarfs the 2.0+ BB/9 of seasons past, but he still has plenty of time to figure out his mechanics before reaching the Show.