Scott Boras can't be serious

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When Scott Boras talks, people listen. Take the winter meetings, for instance.
He’s bombastic. He’s outrageous. And sometimes he’s very close to
pushing his luck. The Yankees recently acquired the younger and
more-athletic Curtis Granderson in a blockbuster three-team trade,
providing general manager Brian Cashman with some flexibility in
negotiations for veteran free agent outfielder Johnny Damon. You
wouldn’t know it if you talked to Boras.




According to the New York Daily News, Boras told the Yankees to “not bother” tendering an offer to Damon unless it was for at least three years and no less than the $13 million salary he earned in 2009.
Obviously, the Yankees have no intention of granted the 36-year-old
Damon a three-year contract, and Boras can’t realistically expect him
to find one in free agency. It’s a rather obvious stunt.




So far, the Yankees have told Boras
they would like to bring Damon back, but they’ve drawn the line at two
years at around $8 million per season. Bobby Abreu’s recent two-year,
$19 million contract with the Angels seems like a fair compromise of
terms, but if Boras keeps pushing it, the Bombers will have no
qualms about moving forward.

Athletics tie for first place in AL West

Athletics
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The Athletics are tied for first place in the AL West for the first time since Opening Day. They took the first of a three-game series against the Astros on Friday with a wild (and controversial) overturned replay call in the ninth and Matt Olson‘s decisive walk-off home run in the 10th — the first of his career to date — then returned on Saturday and bested the Astros 7-1 to take first place.

Saturday’s win was less of a nail-biter than Friday’s had been, but its rewards were just as sweet. Trevor Cahill led the A’s through the first seven innings of one-hit, seven-strikeout ball, backed by seven runs on five RBI doubles from Khris Davis, Matt Olson, Stephen Piscotty and Josh Phegley. All told, the four players struck eight doubles to tie the franchise single-game record.

The Astros, meanwhile, were stymied by both Cahill and the A’s bullpen through the first eight innings of the game. Following Cahill’s seven shutout innings, Jeurys Familia took the ball in the eighth and blanked the Astros to preserve the seven-run lead. Yusmeiro Petit wasn’t quite so lucky: with one out in the top of the ninth, he pitched to a full count against Tony Kemp, then saw his 90.1-MPH fastball returned to right field for a home run. That was the first and last time the Astros crossed home plate, however, as Kyle Tucker popped out to third base and Alex Bregman cemented the loss with a fly ball to right.

Entering Saturday’s game, the Astros had not been out of first place since June 13, when they played second fiddle to the now third-place Mariners. They’ll share first-place honors with the Athletics until Sunday’s finale; it’ll take a series sweep for Oakland to take the lead in the division, but they’ve already delivered incredible results over the last two weeks (and it’s worth noting, as MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart pointed out, that Houston has now lost seven of their last eight games). The A’s climbed out of the no. 3 spot at the start of August and have steadily progressed toward first place ever since, driven by two separate four-win streaks and their two decisive wins this weekend. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle also notes that the club has not been in first place in a non-April month since August 25, 2014 — the last year they qualified for the playoffs.