Scott Boras says teams are more eager to talk about free agents this year

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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.

Blake Snell becomes client of Boras Corporation

Blake Snell
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Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.

Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”

Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.

Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.