It’s one thing for Scott Boras to use Jon Heyman to drum up a market for one of his clients where one does not exist, but we now seem to have crossed over into a world where Heyman is actually handling the negotiations for Jarrod Washburn. From his latest column:
1. Jarrod Washburn. Washburn thrived for the Mariners last year,
going 8-6 with a 2.64 ERA for them before struggling with his knee with
the Tigers, and going 1-3 with a 7.33 ERA there. The Mariners know what
he can do but are lowballing him to this point. The Royals also are in
This is not reporting. This is even beyond opinion. This is straight negotiation, and combative and heavy-handed negotiation at that. But if Heyman is going to play Boras, I don’t see why I can’t play Jack Zduriencik:
“With all due respect, Scott, though we value Jarrod and think we can find a place for him on our club, we feel that his performance last year was far more a function of the defense behind him and good fortune than of his native skills. We are also less convinced that his second half struggles were as much about his injuries as they were about regression to the mean and a reflection of his true abilities at this point in his career.
“But please, Scott, let’s keep this civil. We are not “lowballing” your client, and we resent the implication. We feel we are making him a good faith offer. If you insist on disparaging us in the media as opposed to making a counter offer, I’m afraid this negotiation will have to end.
“And, no, the Royals are not on the scene, so please stop bluffing us with that.”
Wow! Role playing is fun!
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.