Usually we have to wait until November to hear Scott Boras oversell his free agent clients, but we have an early preview for Jacoby Ellsbury:
“He has shown he can hit .300 in the big leagues, not once but twice,” Boras, Ellsbury’s agent, told ESPNBoston.com. “He’s at a point in his career he’s proven he can be a No. 3-hitter type of guy, with power. He’s a premium center fielder. Everywhere I go, they all ask. That’s all I can say. You’re talking about teams really coveting this player.”
I like Ellsbury, so don’t consider this hate or anything. But let’s be honest: he showed “power” in exactly one season. Indeed, he’s been an above-average major league hitter (based on OPS+ anyway) exactly once in a full season. And, because of injuries, he’s played only three full seasons.
Now, assuming he’s healthy after his current maladies subside, sure, he’s worth a lot of money because of his speed, his defense and his obvious offensive potential. But let’s not pretend that Ellsbury is some sure-shot, top-shelf free agent talent.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.