Did Francisco Rodriguez’s old agent really mess up? Or is this just classic Scott Boras?

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Last week Francisco Rodriguez switched agents, going from Paul Kinzer to Scott Boras, and a few days later he was traded to the Brewers.  Today David Waldstein has a report in the New York Times in which he says that Kinzer never submitted a no-trade list to the Mets, with the suggestion that (a) Kinzer screwed up; and (b) the trade to the Brewers had to happen quickly to keep K-Rod from blocking it.

Which, I’m hearing, is kind of misleading.

I’m hearing that there may be a potential dispute about the timing and form of the no-trade list, but that Kinzer submitted one. However, and much more importantly, whether it was good enough to get the job done is a moot point and had no bearing on the trade to Milwaukee, because K-Rod would not have blocked a trade to Milwaukee.  To the contrary, both he and Boras thought Milwaukee was a great destination.  K-Rod made absolutely no objection to the trade when it happened and is eager to go there. Even if there was a no-trade issue, K-Rod has willingly and eagerly waived it.

And of course, given what we’re hearing about how K-Rod may even get to close for the Brewers, one gets the distinct sense that Milwaukee and Boras have something cooking about that big option of his. Because Doug Melvin isn’t suicidal. He would not allow K-Rod to close if it meant $14.5 million bucks next year.  No, Boras and K-Rod are quite pleased about Milwaukee and are likely finding that they can work quite well with the Brewers. With “well” meaning, K-Rod gets to pump up his closer stats and hit free agency this winter without fear of his old contract keeping him down.  An old contract, by the way, that would have meant a commission to Kinzer, not Boras, if it were triggered.

So why might Waldstein’s report have the swipe at Kinzer in it?  This is just speculation on my part, but Kinzer and Boras are heavy competitors. If you had a chance to kick a little dirt on a competitor, would you take the opportunity, even if there was no effective substance to the charge?  Wait — don’t answer that.  Just answer whether you think Scott Boras would.

Brad Ausmus out as Tigers manager

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The Tigers just announced that they will not be bringing Brad Ausmus back as manager in 2018. His contract was going to be up at the end of this season and they have decided not to renew it. Ausmus and his staff will manage the club for the final week of the season.

In the press release announcing the move, Tigers GM Al Avila said “[a]s we transition the ballclub in a new direction, I feel it’s best that we have a new approach and a fresh start with the manager position.” He went on to praise Ausmus for “doing an admirable job under difficult circumstances, especially this season,” a clear reference to the club’s decision at mid-season to blow things up. Justin Verlander and J.D. Martinez were traded in July and August, as were some more minor players. The club is clearly embarking on a lengthy rebuild of which Ausmus, who was brought in four years ago to lead a contending team, will not be a part.

In his four seasons at the helm the Tigers are 312-325. He won 90 games and the AL Central in his first season in 2014, but the Tigers were swept out of the ALDS in three games. In the past three seasons they finished fifth, second and will either finish in fourth or fifth this year. Injuries and poor bullpens have been the biggest problem, but clearly this Tigers team was supposed to win more over the past four years.

It’s unclear what direction the Tigers will take in their managerial search, but it’s clear they’re going to go outside of the organization, as Avila said in his statement that the status of the current coaching staff will be contingent on the wishes of whatever new manager they hire.

Happy trails, Brad Ausmus. Baseball’s Most Handsome Manager is now Baseball’s Most Handsome Unemployed coach.

The Mets are doing something really weird with Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey

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Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that the Mets are going to give Noah Syndergaard the start for tomorrow’s game. But here’s the hitch: he’ll only get one inning and then Matt Harvey will enter in the second inning and go from there. Harvey was originally scheduled to take the start. Syndergaard, of course, has been out since April. Harvey has been pitching under the loosest definition of the term.

I can see, if they are intent on putting Syndergaard in a real game, having him start one rather than come in out of the bullpen for purposes of preparation and routine. At the same time, however, if he’s only able to throw one inning at this point, with a little over a week left in the season, what’s the point of him pitching at all? As for Harvey relieving: he’s kind of a mess right now. Is he someone whose routine you really want to throw off?

I guess this doesn’t hurt anything — at least as long as Syndergaard doesn’t hurt himself throwing in a meaningless game at the end of the season — but it certainly is odd. It makes me wonder if this is some sort of “Dave” or “Moon Over Parador” situation in which the Mets are just trying to create the impression that Syndergaard is still alive.

Could Kevin Klein pitch an inning? Richard Dreyfuss?