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.
Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer has already made a pair of mistakes in left field and he’s only four innings into the first game of the best-of-five NLDS against the Dodgers.
Leading off the second inning, Justin Turner sent a well-struck liner to Cuddyer which was quite catchable, but the ball clanked off of the veteran’s glove. Turner was credited with a double. Mets starter Jacob deGrom was able to work around the misplay, striking out Andre Ethier, A.J. Ellis, and Clayton Kershaw to close out the frame.
With two outs in the third inning, Corey Seager sent a fly ball down the left field line. Cuddyer took an inefficient route and the ball bounced about a foot inside the foul line, then into the stands, giving Seager a ground-rule double. To add insult to injury, Cuddyer ended up tumbling over the fence. deGrom, again, worked around Cuddyer’s mistake, striking out Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning.
Because he bats right-handed, Cuddyer got the start in left field over the left-handed-hitting rookie Michael Conforto against Kershaw, a southpaw. Conforto mustered only a .481 OPS against lefties this season compared to Cuddyer’s .698. Despite the batting disparity, one wonders how short a leash manager Terry Collins has on Cuddyer given his defense.
Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning, belting a solo home run to right field at Dodger Stadium off of starter Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw threw a 2-0, 94 MPH fastball and Murphy didn’t miss it.
Both teams’ starters are pitching quite well overall. Kershaw has allowed the one run on three hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Jacob deGrom started off the game with six consecutive strikeouts and has struck out seven total while blanking the Dodgers on three hits and a walk in three innings.
Kershaw doesn’t have the most impressive post-season track record, owning a career 5.12 ERA across eight starts and three relief appearances spanning 51 innings. Aside from the homer, the lefty appears to be putting that notion aside.
Eric Fisher of the Sports Business Journal reports that the value of a qualifying offer for free agents this off-season has been set at $15.8 million. That represents an increase of a half-million dollars over last year’s value.
This is of particular interest with regards to the big-name free agents, including Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, Yovani Gallardo, Jordan Zimmermann, and Jeff Samardzija.
Teams that make a qualifying offer to a player that ends up being rejected receive a compensation draft pick in the upcoming draft. The team that signs the player who rejected a qualifying offer gives up their earliest non-protected draft pick.
Free agents who had been traded mid-season aren’t eligible to receive a qualifying offer. This includes Yoenis Cespedes, David Price, Johnny Cueto, and Ben Zobrist, among others.
A player has yet to accept a qualifying offer since the QO system was implemented.