Boras sulking

Be skeptical of “Team X is wary of Scott Boras” articles

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During free agency season you often hear a lot of sentences with the clause ” . . . but he’s a Scott Boras client, so . . .”  And it’s a good point to make for free agents, because negotiations with Scott Boras are different. They take longer for one thing, because he almost always advises his client to hold out as long as they can. And of course they’re high dollar deals because Boras represents many of the top players.  MLB Trade Rumors has a separate page listing Boras clients for cryin’ out loud. There’s a reason you have to consider his guys differently than you consider others.

But such concerns can be overstated.  I think Ken Rosenthal overstates them a bit this morning:

Much as certain teams prefer to avoid Boras, it’s difficult when he represents many of the best players. Moreno abruptly pulled out of the Mark Teixeira negotiations with Boras in Dec. 2008, withdrawing an eight-year, $160 million free-agent offer. But now he might have no choice but to re-engage . . . the Angels will need to be awfully creative if they intend to retool while shunning Boras’ clients.

Did the Angels ever “shun” Boras?  Yes, the Teixeira negotiations ended poorly, but I don’t recall anything coming out of that, publicly at least, that suggested the ill will of that experience would result in the Angels shunning Boras or his clients. As Rosenthal himself notes, Jered Weaver and Kendry Morales are both Boras clients. A team deals with an agent at times other than when the contract is up, so they likely have at least some working relationship with the guy. And he’s a season ticket holder too, as anyone who gets distracted by his Borasian visage in those pricey seats behind home plate during Angels games knows full well.

The only team I can ever recall simply swearing off Boras clients is the Braves following Greg Maddux’s decision to accept arbitration prior to the 2003 season, and I think even they have softened their stance since John Schuerholz moved upstairs to become team president.  Really, I don’t think any team can practically shun the guy. He represents too many players. Eventually he’ll have someone that each and every team either has or wants.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.