Scott Boras is all for 12-year contracts

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Scott Boras, when asked about the idea of signing guys for short contracts that cover their arbitration years:

“I’m more into 12-year deals for young players,” Boras replied. “The M.O. is, you want to keep them in the franchise, and you want to be there for the fans and be a marquee for them. So why not?”

Of course Boras is going to be for massive deals because he’s Scott Boras. And of course you’re going to mock him because you love to mock Scott Boras. But go read Adam Kilgore’s article and listen to what else Boras has to say on the matter. And you realize that he makes sense.

No, most players aren’t worth that deal. Heck, no player may be worth the risk of a deal that long. But the underlying idea — that smart teams find ways to move away from what the pack is doing and that it’s probably better for teams to find ways to lock up a core of several players rather than just one or two superstars — and you can almost see the sense in giving, say, Bryce Harper or Mike Trout a deal that takes them into their 30s.

Boras says a lot of audacious things. But audacious doesn’t mean crazy. And, in a lot of ways, Boras got where he is by being willing to be audacious.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.