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.”
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.
With the Braves on the cusp of formalizing their one-year deal with Kurt Suzuki, the market for free agent catcher Matt Wieters is dwindling. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick references an inside source that lists the Angels, Rockies and Reds as potential suitors for the 30-year-old’s services.
Wieters is coming off of an eight-year career with the Orioles. In 2016, he played through his first full year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014 and batted .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and a .711 OPS in 464 PA. A return to Baltimore in 2017 isn’t out of the question, Crasnick writes, citing some within the team that would be open to Wieters stepping into a DH role and catching platoon with Wellington Castillo. However, he also points out that the front office appears divided on the veteran catcher, and sees the Orioles as a long shot for the foreseeable future.
The Angels have already been tied to Wieters this offseason, while the Rockies and Reds don’t appear to have made any formal inquiries so far. Both could use a veteran presence behind the dish, as the Rockies are planning to platoon rookie catcher Tom Murphy with 24-year-old Tony Wolters in the spring. The Reds, meanwhile, are banking on a quick recovery for 28-year-old Devin Mesoraco, who missed most of the 2016 season after undergoing shoulder and hip surgery and forced the club to rely almost exclusively on back-up backstop Tucker Barnhart.