Last year was the slowest offseason, free agent signing-wise, since the days of collusion in the 1980s. Agent Scott Boras suggested at the general manager meetings yesterday, however, that a thaw may be coming for the frozen hot stove:
“Clubs are wanting meetings and wanting to get in front of the players. They’re all telling me they want to make much earlier decisions. I did not hear any of that last year . . . “I think all of [his top clients] have the possibility of signing much earlier than that.”
He didn’t talk too much about why there has been a change in this regard — and no non-Boras agents have observed what he has, it seems — but one might think that the quality of Boras’ free agents this year — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg lead his stable of talent looking for new teams — has something to do with it. Last year he had Bryce Harper, who was obviously a blue-chipper, but he didn’t have a top pitcher like Cole and Strasburg. It could very well be that teams are more eager to move quickly on pitching talent.
We’ll see soon enough whether this is just a sense Boras has or whether teams actually will, in fact, move more quickly this hot stove season.