Recently, ESPN’s Buster Olney published quotes from anonymous baseball executives on the value of free agents Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew, who remain jobless due to the draft pick compensation attached to them. Their agent, Scott Boras, is none too pleased.
Per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Boras says the comments constitute “a clear violation of the CBA”.
“It’s a clear violation of the CBA,” Boras said in a phone interview. “As many as five executives continue to use ESPN as a conduit to violate the collective bargaining agreement.”
“The bell is rung,” Boras continued. “Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew were damaged by these comments.”
Union director Tony Clark wasn’t happy about it either, also saying that the comments violated the collective bargaining agreement. He called for commissioner Bud Selig to investigate the comments and punish the executives who made the comments.
It is believed that both Morales and Drew will remain unsigned until after the upcoming amateur draft. Following the draft, the draft pick compensation attached to them will go away and teams will be free to sign them at no penalty. Players are expected to continue to decline qualifying offers.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.