Boras: Adrian Beltre already drawing major interest

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Super-agent Scott Boras is making wild claims about one of his free agent clients.  Crazy, right?

According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, Boras told MLB Network Radio on Thursday afternoon that he has “never seen more interest in a player” than what he’s experiencing this fall with free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre.

There’s probably some truth to that.  Beltre went on a tear in 2010, batting .321/.365/.553 with 28 home runs and 102 RBI for the Red Sox while playing his typical brand of stellar defense at the hot corner.  Productive third basemen are hard to come by and Beltre should be able to pick from several different offers this winter.

The Red Sox are expected to attempt to re-sign him and the Angels have been linked loosely in the early stages of the hot stove season.

The Blue Jays, Tigers, Mariners and A’s are likely to at least stay tuned into negotiations.

Report: Pirates to convert JB Shuck into two-way player

JB Shuck
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Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.

Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.

Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.