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.
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.