Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that Carlos Beltran has switched agents, leaving Scott Boras and signing with Dan Lozano.
Ultimately the move probably doesn’t mean a whole lot, since Beltran will likely be going to the highest bidding in free agency either way. Still, it’s interesting considering Boras negotiated the seven-year, $119 million deal that just expired and Beltran is about to hit the open market in search of what will likely be the final big contract of his career.
Lozano also represents Albert Pujols and Jimmy Rollins, among others. And if nothing else the Giants are probably happy about Beltran leaving Boras. Assuming, of course, that they’re interested in re-signing the 34-year-old outfielder.
You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.
Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.
Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.
Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.