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?
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.