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Scott Boras calls the Marlins “a pawn shop”


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Scott Boras made his annual appearance at the Winter Meetings this morning. As he usually does, he held court in the hallway, with a pack of reporters following him around. As he usually does, he offered up some metaphors and allusions that were, to say the least, unique.

Particularly about the Marlins.

“We’ve seen one of our major league jewelry stores become a pawn shop,” Boras said, referring to the Marlins recent fire sale. Perhaps it’d be be a better metaphor if the Marlins were the pawn shop’s customers, but forget it, he was rolling. Boras:

You have a community down there that grew to know four or five star players. They have a tremendous outfield there. They have a new ballpark. They have an excitement they grew to know. They suffered a tremendous tragedy and loss with Jose Fernandez. As a community, they bonded around that team . . . You would hope that new ownership, that MLB would screen the ownership, so that we have an ownership that comes in and provide additions . . . they come in and they redirect, so you’re not a jewelry store that’s coveting your diamonds. You now become a pawn shop that is trying to pay the rent of the building.

Again, not quite following the through-line of the metaphor, but God love that man.

Boras went on to clarify that he does not blame Derek Jeter for what’s going on with the Marlins right now, saying “I’m not clear that it is his decision-making. He’s not the principal owner. He’s certainly a part of the ownership. But he probably hires people to do that.”

Maybe so. But he’s CEO of the team. The “E” stands for “executive” and executives execute. The buck stops with him, right? If not, why shouldn’t it?

Ronald Acuna tops Keith Law’s top-100 prospect list

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ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.

After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”

Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.

Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.

For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.