The Astros, in the market for a closer, have spoken to the agent of free agent closer David Robertson, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. Robertson is asking for “Jonathan Papelbon money” — somewhere in the neighborhood of four years and $50 million.
Recently, the Astros were reported as having interest in several of the top free agent closers, including Robertson, Andrew Miller, and Sergio Romo.
Robertson, taking over the closer’s role from Mariano Rivera this past season, saved 39 ballgames with a 3.08 ERA and a 96/23 K/BB ratio over 64 1/3 innings. While the Yankees would like to see him return, his asking price may prove too steep and the Yankees may feel comfortable enough handing the reins to Dellin Betances.
Across the league, scores of minor leaguers have been released in recent days. Already overworked and underpaid, these players are now left without any kind of reliable income during a pandemic, and during a time of civil unrest.
Jon Heyman reports that agent Scott Boras will pay the salaries of his minor league clients who were among those released. It’s a great and much-needed gesture. Boras described the releases as “completely unanticipated.”
Boras, of course, is perhaps the most successful sports agent of all time, so he and his company can afford to do this. That being said, it should be incumbent on the players’ teams — not their agents or their teammates — to take care of them in a time of crisis. Boras is, effectively, subsidizing the billionaire owners’ thriftiness.