Boras thinking

When it comes to rookies and long term deals, there is risk in taking one too

16 Comments

Buster Olney weighed in on Scott Boras’ comments from yesterday, om which Boras seemed to downplay the likelihood of a long term deal for Eric Hosmer. Here’s Buster:

Scott Boras will advise against Eric Hosmer working out a longterm deal right now. Because, after all, what person in their early 20s would ever want to guarantee themselves tens of millions of dollars? The advice belongs to Boras. The risk falls entirely in the lap of Eric Hosmer.

I get what Olney is saying, but he’s leaving something out: that there’s risk in Hosmer taking a long term deal at this point too. The risk that he will leave tens of millions of dollars on the table.  Just ask Evan Longoria.  Yes, he was guaranteed tens of millions of dollars in his early 20s, but he also will wake up one day and realize that he gave away $50 million. And he didn’t give it to Ronald McDonald House or the United Way. He gave it to the Tampa Bay Rays. And actually, I bet he woke up already with that realization.

Security is important. But if you’re Eric Hosmer — and Scott Boras — you don’t simply jump at any deal because of base level security. That’s what insurance is for.  You make an early deal only if it’s the right deal.  And I don’t take Scott Boras’ comments yesterday in which he talked about market value and the changes in the business landscape of baseball as slamming the door closed. I take them as trying to create the groundwork for the right deal, if there is one to be had. Which, by the way, is his job.

We understandably downplay the  risk of someone signing a bad big contract when they’re young because, sure, the difference between being broke and having, say, $50 million is way more stark than the risk of having $50 million vs. $100 million.  But that’s still risk. And it’s risk that Eric Hosmer hired Scott Boras to help him manage. So who are we to begrudge him managing it?

Reid Brignac is trying to become a switch hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Reid Brignac #4 of the Atlanta Braves poses on photo day at Champion Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
4 Comments

Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.

I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.

I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.

As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.

There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.

Video: Andrelton Simmons makes a heads-up play to catch Carlos Asuaje off first base

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 03:  Andrelton Simmons #2 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim returns to the dugout after scoring in the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 3, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
2 Comments

Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.

With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.