Scott Boras couldn’t get impending free-agent Jose Reyes in the fold, but he appears to be courting another current Met.
Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal reports that Francisco Rodriguez met with Boras and two associates before and after last night’s loss against the Dodgers.
Rodriguez is currently represented by Paul Kinzer, but there are indications that he is at least weighing his options. According to Costa, K-Rod has asked other Boras clients on the Mets’ roster whether they would recommend him as an agent. And before last night’s game, Rodriguez reportedly showed one teammate a text message from an unidentified agent — not Scott Boras — who was courting also him.
Rodriguez wouldn’t comment on the matter, but Boras acknowledged that he has spoken with the Mets’ closer. However, he downplayed the serious of the talks.
“Players talk to me all the time about a lot of things,” he said. “You’re there to talk to them, because they’ve never met you, they’ve heard about you, so athletes just talk.”
“I’ve talked to 10 or 15 of the Mets when they’re out here, and a lot of them I don’t represent,” Boras said. “I wouldn’t read anything into those things.”
Rodriguez is in the final guaranteed year of a three-year, $37 million contract. His $17.5 million option for 2012 vests if he finishes 55 games this season. There’s a good chance that he’ll serve in a set-up role for a contender if (or more likely, when) the Mets trade him, so it’s safe to say he’s preparing for life as a free agent.
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.
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.