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.
The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.
Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.
The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.