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 Red Sox signed catcher Christian Vazquez to a three-year, $13.55 million extension, per a team announcement on Saturday. The agreement will keep Vazquez under contract through the 2021 season and covers two years of arbitration eligibility and the catcher’s first year of free agency. It comes with a $7 million club option (and $250,000 buyout) for 2022 that could get bumped up to $8 million if he reaches 502 plate appearances in both 2020 and 2021. Vazquez has also volunteered to make an annual donation to the Red Sox Foundation as part of his new arrangement with the club.
The 27-year-old backstop is entering his fourth year with the Red Sox in 2018. He’s been a steady defender behind the dish over the last three years and was ranked fifth-best in defense among all American League catchers at the end of the 2017 season. He also enjoyed a breakout performance at the plate, slashing a career-best .290/.330/.404 with five home runs and a .735 OPS in 345 plate appearances.
Come Opening Day, Vazquez is expected to be the Red Sox’ primary option behind the plate, with veteran Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart poised to start in backup roles. Swihart is out of options, but has been groomed for a utility role this spring and could take a few reps in the left field and the infield corners if need be, as it doesn’t appear the club is prepared to trade him just yet.