Agent Scott Boras held a press conference at the GM meetings and, as expected, he went off on a number of things, including teams intentionally tanking and the free agency of his client Bryce Harper. Per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:
Per Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Boras also described the system that rewards teams for tanking as a “cancer.” While the description is intentionally overboard, his underlying point is not wrong. The system is currently perversely set up to encourage teams to go to one extreme or the other in terms of competitiveness, which hurts the overall product as well as specific things like the free agent market. Hence why so many players have taken so long to sign contracts in recent years.
It’s on all of us that we didn’t see “Harper’s bazaar” coming from a thousand miles away.
Also, per Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Boras said that another client, Adrián Beltré, still hasn’t decided if he plans to play next season. Beltré turns 40 years old in April and has been slowed by injuries in the last two seasons, but he has thown that he can still hit and play defense capably.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.