The uber-agent on his free agent client, Johnny Damon:
“His durability is off the charts,” Boras said, referring to Damon’s
streak of 14 straight seasons with 140-plus games played.
“Chronological age does not have anything to do with a player of his
genetics. Certainly you have to look at the Yankees’ history and what
they’ve paid players of his like age who maybe did not have his
I’ll grant Boras that no player technically has Damon’s genetics insofar as, last I checked, he doesn’t have an identical twin playing baseball. But it sounds to me that what Boras is really saying is “given that I represent the top free agent left fielder in Matt Holliday, it would be a conflict of interest for me to say that Johnny Damon is the best candidate for the Yankees, so I have made up some B.S. metric called “genetics” with which to differentiate him.”
Which is clever, but it still boils down to the guy demanding top dollar over multiple years for a 36 year-old player, and that doesn’t make a ton of sense. What does make sense is for the Yankees to re-sign Damon to a shorter deal for more reasonable dollars. Given Boras’ genetics, however, he is incapable of saying that, even if it’s what his client really wants.
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.