According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, Scott Boras said his client Willie Bloomquist is drawing “a lot of interest” on the free agent market. Yawn. I can’t recall the last time Boras didn’t say that about one of his clients, so the real interesting part of this story is how he ended up hitting free agency in the first place.
Bloomquist declined his portion of a $1.1 million mutual option earlier this week after the Diamondbacks exercised their half. It sounds like Boras had every intention of getting in touch with Diamondbacks about a new deal, but the two sides experienced some miscommunication in the days that followed, complete with a missed phone call from one of Boras’ assistants. As a result, the Diamondbacks signed John McDonald to a two-year, $3 million contract. Depending upon what happens with Aaron Hill and the health of Stephen Drew, Bloomquist may be fairly redundant as far as utility infielders go, which makes it fairly likely he’ll end up elsewhere.
This is probably more energy that Boras hopes to spend on a lower-profile client like Bloomquist, but it’s clear he’s not thrilled with how the situation played out.
“Is it our duty to be in touch with them every hour on the hour so we know nobody else signed?” Boras said. “When you want someone, you go get them. We’re not the employer. They offer the contracts and pay the money. We don’t.
“It sounds to me like what happened is, they got upset when Willie opted out. They got emotional and they went out and signed a guy who hit .169.”
And it’s also fair to say that Boras is just emotional because things didn’t work out exactly as he planned. As someone named Omar (and no, not Minaya) once said, “It’s all in the game.”
The Red Sox inked Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract back in August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:
“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”
Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.
That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon says C/OF Kyle Schwarber is the frontrunner to bat leadoff for the team this season, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Schwarber, 23, has hit out of the leadoff spot only eight times in his young career, but the move up the batting order mostly just means more opportunities for him to swing his potent bat. He hit .246/.355/.487 with 16 home runs and 43 RBI in 273 plate appearances in his rookie season in 2015.
Schwarber suffered serious injuries early in the 2016 season when he collided with teammate Dexter Fowler in the Arizona outfield. He tore the anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments, which everyone thought ended his 2016 season entirely. However, Schwarber returned for the start of the World Series against the Indians. In 20 plate appearances over five games, Schwarber contributed six singles, a double, and three walks.