Is Scott Boras “controlling the process” in Carlos Beltran trade talks?

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Strange tweet from Buster Olney a little while ago.  He says that the Cleveland Indians have walked away from talks with the Mets over Carlos Beltran because they are convinced that Beltan’s agent — Scott Boras — is “controlling the process.”

Hmm.  On the one hand, if there is an agent who would try to control the process, it would be Boras.  On the other hand, this could be Cleveland’s way of voicing displeasure over talks that weren’t going the way they liked. Maybe they’re using Boras as a handy excuse. Such a cover story would certainly help quell any fan grumbling if and when the Indians fail to land a bat at the deadline.

One thing that has occurred to me, however, is that if Boras is controlling the process somehow, it may make a possible trade to Atlanta complicated.  The Braves were already thought to be heavily involved in trade talks, and you’d figure their interest would only intensify now that they’ve lost their best hitter for an extended period.  However, the Braves’ front office happens to have some pretty negative feelings for Scott Boras.  Current GM Frank Wren less than John Schuerholz used to have — Schuerholz reportedly vowed to never deal with Boras again — but it’s not like Schuerholz isn’t still hanging around the office.

Probably much ado about nothing — Boras is an easy boogeyman — but interesting all the same.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.