Results tagged ‘ Scott Boras ’

Boras on Red Sox-centric topics

The Winter Meetings aren’t the Winter Meetings until 50 or so reporters swarm power agent Scott Boras. It happened just a little bit ago here at the Swan and Dolphin Hotel in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

On the negotiations for free agent Stephen Drew.  “Well, we’ve been effective. He’s going to have numerous options to choose from. Obviously there’s a variety of teams that want a shortstop of his defensive acumen and capability with the bat.”

Will you be able to get more than one year for Drew?  “That’s not a problem.”

A return to Boston? “Well certainly, everybody agrees that it worked out well for everybody and they are certainly a candidate for him to look at.”

If there are multi-year offers, why hasn’t Drew signed? “Well I think that’s not a decision Stephen has made yet. Because we have to look at the totality of what’s available to him. And some of the offers and positions teams are taking are somewhat contingent on another move. And so, to have a full slate of what’s available to him is not yet something that’s ripe.”

How about getting Ellsbury signed with the Yankees? “Well I think in Ells case, the demand for him, when you’re talking about a center fielder that has the level of playoff experience, won two rings, knows the AL East, I just think the Yankees knew what works in their market and we knew from the ballpark metrics, that he’s going to have a very, very successful career there. Particularly with the shorter RF fence. It was really a lot about their preparation, what the fact that they were very studied, very prepared, and ready to move forward with this. And the fact that we were willing. Ells called me and said …  it was kind of easy to understand that the Red Sox had great depth and that they had to open doors for some really great young players. We’ve kind of had this legacy in center fields where we had Damon and then Ellsbury and now Jackie Bradley [in Boston], and in New York, we had Bernie Williams, then Damon and now Ellsbury. We kind of know how the system works.”

Boras thinks his clients, prospects Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr, are ready to be starters for the Red Sox. “Clearly. Bradley played very well in September. He hit about .270 and his defense was great. Bogaerts really established himself in the Major Leagues. When you’ve got a young man that age playing in that environment, it’s a pretty remarkable achievement.  I think Xander Bogaerts is going to be one of the top five players in baseball.”

Boras weighs in on Ellsbury

Though Jacoby Ellsbury is not at the All-Star Game, he is coming off a very solid first half, in which he hit .305 and stole 36 bases. Ellsbury remains a player to watch all season, considering this is his “walk year”.

Agent Scott Boras talked about Ellsbury’s season and future at Monday’s All-Star Media Day.

To Boras, it is simple. When Ellsbury is healthy, he produces.

“Health. Jacoby’s shoulder was really something that [impacted him last year]. Remember, Jacoby Ellsbury is a very durable player. He just has to make sure that people don’t run into him. The only time in his career he’s not been durable has been when someone ran into him, which has happened twice. And last year he came back early and played where his shoulder strength was not there. We’re starting to see that. I’m starting to see where this is starting to turn and he’s starting to drive the ball with authority in the gap, the opposite way, and that shoulder’s getting stronger as we go. And he’s always been a tremendously strong, elite athlete as far as running, quick twitch, first step in the outfield. He’s just a rare player. With each month of this season, his batting averages are going up, his numbers are there, his on-base percentage is really … Look, it’s no secret that the Red Sox are where they are. Jacoby’s had a big part of that.”

“When you get hurt, like last year, he didn’t have the shoulder strength. When he came into the season this year, when you’re a hitter and you see enough pitches, you grade off where you were, and then as the strength started coming, he’s now made the adjustment to understand more about that he does have that strength and now he’s certainly starting to let the ball get deeper and I can see more power and lift coming to him.
He understands the mental side of it, too, where his shoulder’s at. He’s now back to being healthy.

What about Ellsbury’s lack of power, compared to 2011?

“Whatever Jacoby does from the top of the lineup relative to home run power is not, that’s helpful but the main issue is that most players who are of Jacoby’s type, they don’t even know — it’s never there. They’re four, five home run guys. Jacoby, you know it’s there. There may be years where he hits 20 home runs. There may be another year that he hits 20. And there may be years when he hits 10. The reality of it is you’re going to pay him for the melding of his power, but what you’re really paying him for is the ability to score runs and the ability to get on base and the ability to provide up-the-middle defense. “

Boras laughs at the notion that the imminent arrival of Jackie Bradley Jr. will soon create an outfield log-jam and eliminate Ellsbury’s chances of staying.

“I’m sure in the Red Sox board room, Ben is sitting there going, ‘Wow, we just can’t have Jackie and Jacoby and Victorino in that outfield. They would be just too good defensively. It would provide too much production and speed. That would be such a horrible problem for us.’”

Boras is confident he will have productive discussions with Sox GM Ben Cherington once the season ends.

“Ben and I work together very well. He wants to focus on finishing the season and so do we,” Boras said.

Best of Boras

One of the annual events at the Winter Meetings has become the State of
Scott Boras address. It usually isn’t planned ahead, it just sort of
happens. Today, the circumstances were ripe. Boras was at the press
conference announcing the signing of Carlos Pena with the Cubs, so the
assembled reporters gathered with him in the hall once that was over.

Boras
discussed the latest on free agent clients Adrian Beltre, Magglio
Ordonez and Rafael Soriano, while also talking about Prince Fielder’s
uncertain future, and a lot more. Here is a sampling.

Beltre:
“Well that’s a very busy market for Adrian. We’re in the middle of lot
of negotiations with a lot of teams for him and they’re ongoing. “

The
Angels are a team that could be a fit for Beltre, and Boras maintains
– contrary to recent reports — that his client still has interest in
the Oakland Athletics.

Magglio:”Actually we had a workout
today with Magglio where he got a chance to illustrate where his
baseball abilities were at, just to show he’s 100 percent. That took
place this morning. Teams got to see that. I really don’t know [how
many teams] because I haven’t gotten the report. I know that Detroit
was there for sure.”

The Red Sox are a team that could compete with the Tigers for the services of Magglio Ordonez.

Soriano:
“The closer market is always an interesting one in the sense that teams
never ever want anyone to know that they’re interested in a closer.
Mainly because there are few closers who are the sure 90 percent
closers available and they never get to free agency. It’s almost like a
dynamic where you don’t want anyone to know in your organization that
the candidates you have to be a closer are not efficient for the role
because you may end up with them. unlike starters, because there are
five of them. Clubs I think are very cautious about interest in closers
because it has such an impact on those who may have to do the job if
they in fact don’t get the contract with the closer that’s a free
agent.”

Prince: “I can’t really address that. I think
that, in each situation, a general manager has got to look at the
probability and whether the ownership wants the player to stay vs. the
prospects and/or draft picks they may get. In each scenario, it really
depends on the judgments of the variables given to the general manager.
sometimes ownership gets to reflect on what goes on in the marketlplace
and they may evaluate their positions on what they want to do with
their existing players. We’ve certainly, had discussions last year.
Doug and I met at the GM Meetings. We continue to talk. Whether mark
and I are going to sit down, I don’t know. Doug and I are going to have
meetings further about prince’s short term and potentially long-term
situation.”

Fielder is eligible for free agency at the end of
the season and Adrian Gonzalez, who was just traded to the Red Sox, is
likely to sign a contract worth roughly $154 million over seven years.

Strasburg: He
began his rehab oh, a month and a half, two months ago. Working out
every day. Our Sports fitness people are working with him daily. He’s
well into … the doctors say it’s obviously going to be the middle of
next year before he’s going to be looking to get back to things.

There was a bit of controversy about Strasburg’s mechanics following the revelation he had to have surgery.

“I
think we’re going to leave that to the Washington Nationals. There’s a
lot of things that have been said. But we’ve been through the Tommy
John situation with a  whole host of pitchers in my career. To suggest
when you’re a young thrower with all that ability, to determine when
that occurred or why that occurred … certainly the medical staff has,
with the certainty that many prognosticators have placed out there,
they’re not quite so certain that’s the case.”

Manny Ramirez: “Manny
has certainly told me we’re out looking for a one-year contract. But
remember, too, that this is Manny Ramirez. We’re talking about a
contract that certainly will have incentives in it. But I think there
are short-term contracts for players, and there are short-term
contracts for players who have a historical history of being a great
player like Manny.  We found out Manny had some medical maladies that
had to be surgically repaired in the offseason, that we did not know
about and that he played with during the season. I think it had a
pretty big impact on his performance. He’s ready to go. he’s a guy
that’s got his full health. Obviously, he’s looking for a situation
that allows him to DH and play a bit, that he really thinks will aid
him to stay in the batter’s box.”

Carlos Beltran:  Carlos
is doing well. obviously having gone through his surgery early in the
season last year helped him. His return to play, he’s doing fine. He’s
working out with a conditioning plan daily. His plan right now is to be
a New York met. He has a no trade clause. If anything were brought to
him, I think it would depend on what the situation were. I would say
certainly now that his expectation would be to be a Met next year.”
 
The Red Sox have had least had mild discussions with the Mets about Beltran.

“He
has a no-trade clause, so whatever decisions that he and Jessica make
are going to be around the idea that any other information will come
forward. I can only say that’s something the Mets would have to bring
to Carlos. To date, Carlos’ plan is to be a Met, because he does
control whether he is a Met or not. For those reasons, unless something
unforeseen happens, I would say he will be a Met.”

Johnny Damon:
“I think Johnny’s open to playing on winning teams. He definitely wants
to be a part of an organziation that’s got a chance to do something. I
think any club that he feels has a chance to win, he’d be interested
in.”

Boras on Beltre, Ellsbury

Say what you will about agent Scott Boras, but it can be interesting to hear what he has to say. At today’s Adrian Beltre press conference, Boras spoke about how his client’s deal came to fruition with the Red Sox.

“We had to sit down and kind of marshall through the competitive balance tax, which I learned more phases to it. There’s a signing bonus aspect to it, a plate appearance aspect to it,” said Boras.

This contract, in the eyes of Boras, was a “pillow contract” because there is a soft landing to it that will keep the player comfortable for the short term.

“We have tremendous respect for his abilities. For that reason, I approached Theo and said, ‘I don’t want a three-year deal. I understand your situation. Let’s see if we can work something else.’ I said, ‘I need a pillow contract, some sort of back end on this, but basically it’s going to be a one-year deal.’ Theo, I think, I was on the phone with him, but I think a smile came to his face.”

Boras also spoke of another one of his clients — Jacoby Ellsbury — being moved to center field.

“He’s been a center fielder his whole life. On the other hand, Mike Cameron is clearly a guy who has been a center fielder his whole life. He’s a veteran. To make an adjustment at this point in his career, we agreed that it’s probably better for the Red Sox to keep Mike in centerfield. Jacoby’s a good teammate and said, ‘I understand that.’

“The other thing is, [Ellsbury] is an intense offensive player. When you’re out there, with that body type, banging 60, 70 stolen bases… I studied who has 60, 70 stolen bases, who scores 100 runs and who plays centerfield long term. Check it out. The metrics don’t work. It’s a lot. It’s a lot. So the idea was, there is benefit and detriment to it. The idea was that your contribution to this team is so important to us, and the stress [centerfield] puts on your body is extraordinary.”

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