Scott Boras aims for Shin-Soo Choo to top the Jayson Werth deal

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Mike Puma of the New York Post reported yesterday that Scott Boras was marketing free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo for a contract in the range of $90 million, but ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick hears that he is aiming much, much higher.

That would obviously be an absurd amount of coin for Choo, but as we learned with Werth, it only takes one team to blow away all expectations. Can’t blame Boras for trying. My guess is that he’ll find enough interest to settle somewhere in the middle of those two figures, which will at least get him over the $100 million mark and exceed Hunter Pence’s recent five-year, $90 million extension with the Giants.

Choo, 31, batted .285/.423/.462 with 21 home runs and 54 RBI over 154 games with the Reds this season. He boasts a .389 career on-base percentage.

Marcus Stroman: José Bautista could ‘easily’ pitch in MLB bullpen

José Bautista and Marcus Stroman
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José Bautista hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2018 but the 39-year-old isn’t done playing just yet. Last month, we learned via a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Bautista is hoping to come back as a two-way player. He spent the winter working out as a pitcher.

Bautista had also been working with former Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman. Back in January, Stroman tweeted, “My bro @JoeyBats19 is nasty on the mound. We been working working. All jokes aside, this man can pitch in a big league bullpen. I’ll put my word on it!”

In March, Passan added some details about Bautista, writing, “I’ve seen video of Jose Bautista throwing a bullpen session. Couldn’t tell the velocity, but one source said he can run his fastball up to 94. His slider had legitimate tilt — threw a short one and a bigger bender. @STR0 said in January he could pitch in a big league bullpen.” Stroman retweeted it, adding, “Facts!”

Stroman reiterated his feelings on Tuesday. He tweeted, “Since y’all thought I wasn’t being serious when I said it the first time…my bro @JoeyBats19could EASILY pitch in a big league bullpen. Easily. Sinker, slider, and changeup are MLB ready!” Stroman attached a video of Bautista throwing a slider, in which one can hear Stroman calling the pitch “nasty.”

Stroman attached another video of Bautista throwing a glove-side sinker:

Replying to a fan, Stroman said Bautista’s body “is in better shape than 90-95% of the league.”

I am not a scout and won’t pretend to be one after watching two low-resolution videos. And Stroman’s hype is likely partially one friend attempting to uplift another. That being said, I’ve seen much worse from position players attempting to pitch. It’s a long shot, especially given his age, that Bautista will ever pitch in the majors, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get an opportunity to pitch in front of major league scouts.