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.
Starter Jeremy Hellickson has become the Phillies’ most enticing trade chip as he’s put together a solid month of July. After shutting out the Marlins on one hit and one walk over six innings on Monday, the right-hander lowered his July ERA to 1.97 and his overall ERA to 3.65. As a result, the Phillies are telling teams they want a top-five prospect to part with Hellickson, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
Obviously, a top-five prospect means something different if you’re the Marlins as opposed to the Rangers. And the Phillies’ price point for Hellickson isn’t likely to stay that high, but GM Matt Klentak is setting a lofty starting point so that the return might end up being higher than market value.
ESPN’s Buster Olney speculates that the Phillies could end up holding onto Hellickson and giving him a qualifying offer after the season. He notes that the Phillies have only $25 million tied up for the 2017 season, so they could afford to pay Hellickson in excess of $16 million if he were to accept.
Madison Bumgarner isn’t the only Giants pitcher who can rake. Matt Cain crushed a three-run home run during Tuesday’s game against the Giants.
Cain stepped to the plate with runners on the corner and one out against Reds starter Cody Reed in the bottom of the second inning. Reed threw a 1-1 fastball down the middle and Cain hit it about 20 rows back in the left field seats.
It’s Cain’s first homer of the season, his first since 2012, and the seventh of his 12-year career. He still has some work to catch up to Bumgarner, who has two homers this year and 13 in his career.
On the pitching side of things, Cain got the win against the Reds on Tuesday night, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He currently holds an ugly 5.95 ERA.