Scott Boras says that Jacoby Ellsbury should be available for the playoffs

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Is it Dr. Scott Boras? And would this be news if the agent of any other player was saying he’d be healthy at thus and such a date? I kinda feel like, say, Paul Kinzer’s word about one of his client’s injuries wouldn’t be news, but Boras is a different cat than anyone else. Anyway, Pete Abraham at the Boston Globe reports today that Boras expects Ellsbury to be back for the postseason and possibly even earlier.

It’s all about swelling, not necessarily the fracture. Once the swelling goes down, Boras says Ellsbury will be good to go.

And of course Boras isn’t just saying this as a dispassionate observer. His client, Mr. Ellsbury, stands to be one of the hottest commodities on the free agent market this winter, so having him show the world he’s healthy is in his best interests.

Mike Napoli and Rays have “mutual interest” in a deal

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.

Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.

Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.