Alex Rodriguez has fired uber agent Scott Boras and is now being represented full time by Pittsburgh attorney Jay Reisinger.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today was the first one to run with this this morning, but for reasons that are unclear, the link disappeared as soon as it showed up (UPDATE: It’s back up now, though it has changed a bit). Not sure why USA Today would pull his story, because it was essentially accurate. Nightengale’s report went that A-Rod is “using” Reisinger and has “abandoned” Boras, though Nightengale says that if he ever needed more contract work, “Boras is only a phone call a way.”
Nightengale’s report inspired me to make a couple of phone calls and I’ve learned that all of what he wrote is technically true, but it’s a bit more stark. I’m hearing from reliable sources that A-Rod has definitely fired Scott Boras. Did so about a month ago. It wasn’t really ugly or anything, which is why we didn’t hear about it at the time, but it happened and the relationship is over. Enter Reisinger.
Those who follow the steroids beat know that Reisinger has been representing Rodriguez as his attorney for some time. He counseled him last year when the PED revelations came out and has continued to counsel him to date as A-Rod has been dragged into the Anthony Galea blood spinning stuff. Reisinger also represents Andy Pettitte in connection with the Mitchell Report/Clemens stuff and counseled Sammy Sosa before his infamous congressional testimony (counseled him expertly, as I have written).
But as time has gone on, A-Rod’s trust in Reisinger has grown, and Reisinger has assumed greater responsibility. He is now — and has been for some time — the point of contact between A-Rod, the union, the league and the Yankees. That has made him the defacto agent. Given the sorts of challenges A-Rod faces these days — an investigation and other dealings that are less about negotiating the big contract than they are about various ancillary matters that require greater attention to detail and maybe some hard nosed litigation skills — he just makes more sense than Boras does.
So there we are. Boras isn’t lacking for clients, but he has lost his most famous one.
According to the official Twitter account of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the club has agreed to terms on a one-year major league contract with outfielder Rafael Ortega.
It’s worth the MLB minimum, which should be a little north of $507,000 in 2016.
Ortega was once considered a top prospect in the Rockies’ minor league system, but he has made only six total plate appearances at the big league level since signing out of Venezuela in 2008. The 24-year-old batted .286/.367/.378 with two home runs and 17 stolen bases in 131 games this past season for the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate in Memphis.
He’ll be in the running for an Opening Day roster spot next spring in Angels camp.
Ben Zobrist will turn 35 years old early next summer, but that doesn’t seem to be putting too much of a dent in his free agent value.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the “sense among interested teams” is that Zobrist’s price is currently hovering around four years, $60 million and it “may go higher.”
There was a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on Sunday stating that the Mets have made Zobrist their “No. 1” offseason target, and over a dozen other clubs have linked to him since the World Series ended. That’s the kind of attention you command when you can both hit — Zobrist posted an .809 OPS (120 OPS+) in 2015 — and also cover a range of positions defensively.
He makes sense for just about any club looking to contend in the coming seasons.
Wilin Rosario was designated for assignment by the Rockies late last month. Now, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, the 26-year-old former National League Rookie of the Year vote-getter has elected to become a free agent.
Rosario is a bad defensive catcher and wasn’t much better when the Rockies tried him at first base, but he should draw some interest from American League teams looking for a bench bat and part-time DH.
Rosario slugged 28 home runs for the Rockies in 2012 and he’s averaged 26 home runs for every 162 games over the course of his five-year major league career.
He boasts a .319/.356/.604 career batting line against left-handed pitching.
As first reported by Bob Dutton of the Tacoma Tribune and now confirmed by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Mariners have traded first baseman and corner outfielder Mark Trumbo to the Orioles in exchange for catcher and first baseman Steve Clevenger. There is also a second player headed to Baltimore in the deal.
This feels like an admission from the O’s that they’re not going to be able to re-sign Chris Davis, who is said to be looking for more than $150 million in free agency.
Clevenger was out of options and the Orioles have both Matt Wieters and Caleb Joseph coming back at the catcher position. Wieters was due to become a free agent but accepted a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Baltimore last month.
Trumbo has always been a low-OBP guy and he rates as a poor defender everywhere he has played, but the 29-year-old has averaged 31 homers and 96 RBI for every 162 games in his six-year major league career. Camden Yards is a much better place than Safeco Field for him to show that power.