Actually, what he said about his prized client was “no baseball person in his right mind will have the guy catch.” Which seems strange considering Harper himself is on record as saying he wants to catch and every team would value his bat way higher as a catcher than they would elsewhere (even though his power would play anywhere).
I don’t see how you don’t at least start the guy as a catcher if you’re the Nationals. That is what will provide the team the most value, certainly, both for what he is and because it is much easier to fill holes elsewhere than at catcher. Indeed, one of the non-catching positions most commonly cited as a potential destination for Harper is third base, and the Nats are already set there with Mr. Zimmerman, thank you very much.
All I can think that’s animating Boras here is the history of catchers having a longer road to get to the majors and the fact that the tools of ignorance lead to more wear and tear than other positions. The former consideration would potentially put off free agency for Harper. The latter would make free agency a less-valuable proposition.
But those aren’t the Nationals’ problems, so maybe Boras should change his phrasing from “no team in its right mind will put Harper at catcher” to “no agent in his right mind would want Harper to play catcher.”
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.