Adam Rubin of ESPN New York was told by a source that agent Scott Boras is seeking a multi-year contract for Stephen Drew which includes an opt-out clause after the first season.
Boras has had a hard enough time finding a team who is willing to surrender a draft pick (and the corresponding draft pool money) in order to sign Drew, so he’s probably pushing his luck here. Not surprisingly, Rubin hears that such a scenario is a “deal-breaker” for the Mets, though they would consider a two- or three-year deal without an out-clause.
The Red Sox haven’t completely closed the door on re-signing Drew and the idea of him leaving after one year could make sense there, since he would mostly be seen as a stopgap option at shortstop anyway. Of course, if he struggles or gets hurt this season, the Red Sox would likely be stuck with him for 2015. And that would be less than ideal.
It’s probably too late in the winter to demand such things, but something will have to give soon. We’re just a week away from pitchers and catchers reporting for most teams.
Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with the media today. Naturally, he was asked various questions about the landscape of the sport, given that superstars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper remain unsigned as spring training begins. Per The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli, Manfred said that he thinks the free agent market will begin to move once spring training exhibition games begin. Manfred also said that Harper’s camp suggesting that he wants $400 million back in 2016 was “an impediment” to discussions throughout the offseason.
No word on why Machado is also as yet unsigned, as he did not have a reported $400 million ask.
Manfred’s job is to look out for ownership, so it’s not surprising to see him point the finger at Harper. Consider:
Manfred’s comment comes just months after the Red Sox won 108 regular season games and the World Series with baseball’s largest payroll. And ongoing evidence that there is indeed a positive correlation between dollars spent and team success. We often hear justification for tanking/rebuilding because the Cubs and Astros did it and won championships because of it. When the Red Sox use financial muscle to win a championship, it’s crickets.
Manfred didn’t stop there, however.
An easy way to get baseball’s “glow” back would be for two of the game’s best and most popular players to be in uniform playing games. The first spring training exhibition game will be played on February 22, so it’s not looking like that’s going to happen anytime soon.
Baseball’s “glow” would also come back if more teams were actively trying to win. Instead, one-third of the league is “rebuilding” or otherwise coasting on revenue-sharing. For fans of the Rangers, Orioles, Royals, and Marlins — to name a few — the outcomes of their favorite teams’ seasons have already been decided, so what is there to get excited about?