Did an MLB agent use a porn star to recruit clients?

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And you thought Scott Boras was the only agent who played hardball.  Business Insider has a story that makes his client-luring techniques seem like tiddly winks.  Fasten your seat belts. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride:

Porn star Bibi Jones says an MLB agent would bring her out to recruit potential clients after Arizona Diamondbacks games in 2010. Starting in the spring of 2010, the agent took her to Phoenix-area bars after almost every game and introduced her to major league players — some of whom she slept with.

In an update to the story today, Business Insider alleges that the agent in question was Terry Bross of Gaylord Sports Management.  Ms. Jones said that she wasn’t expected to have sex with players, but that she slept with “over 10” guys, a “couple” of whom she believes signed with Bross. She elaborates:

He would just take me to a bar and introduce me after a Diamondbacks game in Arizona. You know, baseball players would come and I’d introduce myself. And then I got to hook up with baseball players and have fun. It was like a dream come true because I love athletes and baseball’s my favorite sport.

She said she wasn’t paid for it either, so it doesn’t sound like this was illegal or anything. Just, you know, really skeezy.  She describes it as “social” and that her job, such as it was, was to be “arm candy.” So there’s that.

I wonder what the agent’s guild or whatever it is thinks about this. I presume that they either find this highly unprofessional or else they think it’s the most brilliant thing ever. Not a lot of room for compromise there.

James Paxton will “nerd out big-time” to stay healthy next year

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To the surprise of, well, very few, the Mariners didn’t make the cut for the postseason this year. While they threw their hats in the ring for a wild card berth, their pitching staff just couldn’t stay healthy, from the handful of pitchers who contracted season-ending injuries in spring training to Felix Hernandez‘s shoulder bursitis to structural damage in Hisashi Iwakuma‘s right shoulder. Left-hander James Paxton missed 79 days with a lingering head cold, strained left forearm and pectoral strain. Heading into the 2018 season, the lefty told MLB.com’s Greg Johns that he plans to “nerd out big-time” in order to prepare for a healthy, consistent run with the club.

So far, Johns reports, that entails a new diet and workout program, hot yoga sessions and blood testing. “I just think there’s more I can do,” Paxton said. “I haven’t done the blood testing before. Finding out if there’s something I don’t know about myself. It’s just about learning and trying to find what works for me.”

When healthy, the 28-year-old southpaw was lights-out for the Mariners. He helped stabilize the front end of the rotation with a 12-5 record in 24 starts and supplemented his efforts with a 2.98 ERA, 2.4 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 136 innings. Despite taking multiple trips to the disabled list, he built up 4.6 fWAR — the most wins above replacement he’s compiled in any season of his career to date. Had he not been felled by a pectoral injury in mid-August — one that came with a five-week trip to the disabled list — the club might have been been able to make a bigger push for the playoffs.

Of course, even if Paxton manages to stay healthy next season, the Mariners still have the rest of the rotation to worry about. They cycled through 17 starters in 2017 and tied the 2014 Rangers with 40 total pitchers over the course of the season. Per GM Jerry Dipoto, their top four starters (Paxton, Hernandez, Iwakuma, and Tommy John candidate Drew Smyly) only contributed 17% of total innings pitched, just a tad below the 40% average. Finding adequate big league arms and compensating for injured aces (both current and former) will be tough. Still, getting a healthy, dominant Paxton back on the mound for 30+ starts would be a huge get for the team — whether or not the postseason is in their future next year.