Scott Boras, when asked about the idea of signing guys for short contracts that cover their arbitration years:
“I’m more into 12-year deals for young players,” Boras replied. “The M.O. is, you want to keep them in the franchise, and you want to be there for the fans and be a marquee for them. So why not?”
Of course Boras is going to be for massive deals because he’s Scott Boras. And of course you’re going to mock him because you love to mock Scott Boras. But go read Adam Kilgore’s article and listen to what else Boras has to say on the matter. And you realize that he makes sense.
No, most players aren’t worth that deal. Heck, no player may be worth the risk of a deal that long. But the underlying idea — that smart teams find ways to move away from what the pack is doing and that it’s probably better for teams to find ways to lock up a core of several players rather than just one or two superstars — and you can almost see the sense in giving, say, Bryce Harper or Mike Trout a deal that takes them into their 30s.
Boras says a lot of audacious things. But audacious doesn’t mean crazy. And, in a lot of ways, Boras got where he is by being willing to be audacious.
I would hope by now that I no longer have to preface All-Star talk with my usual “none of this matters” disclaimers, but please keep all of that in mind when I mention that Nick Markakis is leading all National League outfielders in All-Star voting.
Markakis, with 1,173,653 votes, has surpassed the slumping Bryce Harper in that category. Harper has 1,002,696 votes. The third place outfielder is Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 925,697. Fourth place — Charlie Blackmon of the Dodgers — is like 300,000 votes back of Kemp.Yes, Markakis, Harper and Kemp may be the starting NL outfield. Brandon Nimmo — not on the ballot — should be grumpy, but he’ll get his chance I’m sure.
The thing about it: Markakis, for as unexpected as his appearance may be on this list, deserves to at least be in the top three. He’s second in WAR among National League outfielders behind Lorenzo Cain. He’s slowed down a good bit in June and he’s coming off of a 2017 season in which he had a 96 OPS+ and 0.7 WAR, but he’s having quite an outstanding season. I write that mostly so that there is a record of it come October and we’ve all forgotten it.
Seriously, though, good for Markakis, who has never made an All-Star Game. Good for Kemp too for that matter, who most people assumed was a walking — well, limping — corpse heading into this season. Good for Harper because anything that can keep up the guise of him having a good year when, in reality, he’s really not, will help his confidence as he heads into free agency.
Finally, good for the American League, who will likely get to face a far, far inferior National League team next month in Washington.
The rest of the voting: