Scott Boras has been taking a beating over the fate of Johnny Damon this offseason, but he’s not deterred. In fact today he has offered a couple of Black-Knight-in-Monty-Python-and-the-Holy-Grail-style “have at yous!” First in the Detroit Free Press:
Although Damon, 36, has been a free agent since November, Boras said
the market for him really didn’t develop until it became clear the
Yankees wouldn’t re-sign him. Then, said Boras, “We got four or five
offers right away.” Boras declined to identify which clubs made offers or how much interest they have subsequently shown.
Dude. Your arm’s off.
In other news, Boras was just on XM’s Home Plate show. I don’t have the transcript or anything, but Jason at IIATMS relayed some of it on Twitter. He basically
put Damon’s current unemployment on owners who simply aren’t willing to
do what’s necessary for their team to win. He also said “Johnny Damon has many opportunities to play” and that he’s “not worried about where.”
Look, you fight with the strength of many men, Sir Knight, but you are beaten. Stand aside, worthy adversary, and take one of those “four or five” offers you have and stop this silly PR onslaught.
Last week it was widely speculated that Shohei Otani, the highly-touted Japanese pitcher/designated hitter who stars for the Nippon Ham Fighters, would not come to the United States to play due to changes in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The upshot: the new CBA caps money available to international free agents under age 25 at $5-6 million and Otani, 22, would be worth way more than that, so why take the pay cut?
Now, however, Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Fighters are set to post Shotei Otani following the 2017 season. Passan says that his sources have told him that there are potential ways around the limit on spending for under-25 players like Shohei Otani and he links a Japanese article from Sponichi which says the Fighters would post him after the 2017 season.
It’d be interesting to see what that loophole is. Without knowing the exact terms of the CBA on this score it’s impossible to know, but one possibility is that there are different rules applicable to those with professional experience in other countries as opposed to amateur free agents.
Whatever the case, the notion that we could see Otani in the U.S. at age 23 or 24 is pretty exciting.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.