Tag Archives: Boras

WS Game 3. Muncy’s walkoff HR wins it for LA in 18th, 3-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

In a game that ended around 3:30 AM Eastern Time, the Dodgers won the longest WS game in history, 3-2 in 18 innings, on a Max Muncy walkoff HR off of Nathan Eovaldi to avoid an 0-3 deficit in games. Boston leads two games to one.

With the game going so long, teams will have to decide who starts Game 4 (see below), and players could be exhausted. Eovaldi threw 97 pitches of relief in Game 3.

Joc Pederson homered for the Dodgers in the third to put them up 1-0.

In the sixth, Manny Machado hit what he thought was a HR, showboated, and wound up with a long single instead of a double. So far this postseason, there is a lot NOT to like about a team potentially signing him as a free agent. So much talent, too many headaches. If the Yanks sign him, could they be getting another A-Rod, another person with so much talent and so many headaches?

Funny how Manny adores A-Rod, A-Rod is pushing for Machado and A-Rod despite his TV connections, is still a Yankees’ advisor. You wonder if A-Rod will bring Machado, and all his talent, but also all his problems, to the Bronx.

A-Rod redux. And just like A-Rod, a guy who wants to play one position, but is forced into another (although, with Didi’s injury, Machado may get to play the position he desires, at least temporarily, but then what? Where does Andujar go if Machado does wind up a Yankee?)

Dodgers’ starter Walker Buehler was brilliant.

But in the bottom of the eighth, Jackie Bradley tied it with a HR off of Kenley Jansen.

Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers pulled a rock, getting picked off of first in the bottom of the ninth. In the top of the tenth, he made up for it by throwing out a runner at the plate for an inning-ending DP.

Boston scored in the top of the 13th, but left the bases loaded. LA came back to tie it up with two out in the bottom of the 13th on an error, setting the stage for Muncy’s walkoff HR in the bottom of the 18th. Muncy had just missed winning it with a walkoff HR in the bottom of the 15th, as his long drive was just foul.

Wood the winner, Eovaldi the loser. As the NY Post’s Joel Sherman reports, the Dodgers didn’t use Rich Hill, and have him to start Game 4, but Boston used Price in relief, used up Eovaldi, and didn’t even use Drew Pomeranz who now may be forced to start Game 4. Who starts?

The Hank Aaron awards for league’s best hitters went to Christian Yelich of the Brewers and Boston’s J.D. Martinez.

And if you want a good chuckle, agent Scott Bora$$ says that Jacoby Ellsbury will be ready to go for the Yanks in 2019 spring training. What else did you expect Bora$$ to say? The guy is great at fleecing owners.

Complaints about slow free agent market.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

With 10 days now until pitchers and catchers report (at least to the Yankees’ spring training), players who are free agents, and still out there, and there are about 120 of them, including about 20 of the top 50, are starting to get antsy.

And accusations are flying.

A few observations.

One. There is a $197MM cap. Guess what. Some teams don’t want to go over that cap anymore. So if you don’t like that, boo hoo hoo.

Teams want to cut back. They are tired of going over that cap and paying a penalty as a result. They want to get under it and re-set the penalty. Nothing wrong with that.

But now players who expected these teams to do what they always did, which is go over the cap, are now facing a rude awakening.

The big spenders aren’t spending anymore since they want to get under the cap. A cap the players’ union agreed to.

It’s called sticking to a budget. Most of us hard-working Americans know what that is like.

So the big spenders, like the Yankees and Dodgers, aren’t spending because they want to get under the cap, esp. w/next yrs. free agent class being better than this year’s.

So with the big markets out of the picture, the players are looking for big market $$$ from the mid-market teams. Good luck with that.

Kind of like asking someone to pay Lamborghini prices when they want to purchase a VW.

It looks like the players are going to have to accept reality and accept mid-market prices, not only from the mid-market teams, but also from the big-market teams who, because they don’t want to go over the cap, can only afford to give out mid-market prices.

Plus, Scott Bora$$ is the agent for many of these players, and Bora$$ usually holds out to the last minute to squeeze every last $$ from franchises. Guess what, Bora$$, they are calling your bluff.

Good.

Boras, Ellsbury, the AFL and WS Game 1.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Scott Boras is known as a top-notch agent.

He inflates the importance of players to get them ridiculous salaries they don’t deserve, and at a commission.

Often, these salaries are for too long, for too much, and is a burden on the teams that fall for Boras’ BS.

One such example is with Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury probably has the worst contract with the Yankees right now, and maybe in all of baseball.

In 2013, Ellsbury helped the Red Sox to a WS title, and made $9MM that year. After the season, the free agent signed with the Yankees for seven years with an option for an eighth at a little over $21MM per year. Nice jump.

And little production since. The oft-injured CF has averaged .264-10-50 with 26 SB a year in his four seasons with the Yankees, and lost his CF job. His OPS+ is 95. 5% below league average, and he is not known for his throwing arm, either.

$21MM for a fourth OF/DH. One with average stats, nice speed, not the greatest arm. And three more guaranteed years on his contract.

One who this season hit .264-7-39 with 22 SB and who went 0 for 9 in the postseason.

One who hasn’t hit .270, hit 10 HR, driven in 60, stolen 25 bases or has had an OPS+ of 100 (league average) in any of the last three years.

So Bore-A$$ starts complaining about his playing time.

Hey Bore-a$$, shut up. Continue fleecing teams for your 15% commission or whatever you get and stop trying to be their manager.

As for Ellsbury, maybe he last a comeback in him at age 34. But the last three years don’t signify that. The Yanks would love to dump his salary if they could, even if they have to eat most of it.

A bad deal. Bore-a$$ should just laugh his way to the bank, having found a sucker who signed Ellsbury for that much.

And he should just STFU about playing time.

In the Arizona Fall League, Scottsdale won 3-1. Yankees prospects:

RF Estevan Florial 0 for 4, struck out 3x.
1B Billy McKinney 2 for 4 with a strikeout.
SS Thairo Estrada 1 for 4, solo HR, one strikeout.

Starting Pitcher Albert Abreu 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Relief pitcher Andrew Schwaab 1 IP, 0 r, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Relief Pitcher Cody Carroll (S, 2) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K.

In WS Game 1, LA beat Houston 3-1. Chris Taylor hit Dallas Keuchel’s first pitch of the game for a 447 ft. HR. Houston tied it in the fourth on a HR by Alex Bregman but in the bottom of the sixth, Justin Turner’s 2-run HR was the deciding blow. Clayton Kershaw outduelled Keuchel. Kershaw went 7 innings, giving up one run on three hits, and struck out 11.

Don’t count on Yanks going after Crawford, Werth.

Bargain shopping
Yes, even the Yankees need to save and bargain shop.

The Yanks have some money (notably Vazquez) coming off the books, but not a lot.

Unlike 2008, when Giambi, Pavano, Mussina and Abreu all coming off led to getting CC, AJ and Teix to replace them, there may be room for only one significant free agent push, and that would be for Cliff Lee.

Let’s bargain shop.  

Player A: .277-5-47   47 SB   2010 salary $452, 500.  2011 salary $500,000? In the Yankees’ control for a while. 2010 OPS+ 106. Award for best defensive LF.

Player B:  .307-19-90  47 SB, led league with 13 triples.  2010 salary $10M. 2011 $15-20M? OPS+ 134. A better player with more power, yes. But $15M a year better? Probably not. You’d pay a little more for player B over Player A, but $15M a year more?  

Player A is Gardner. Player B is Crawford. Yes, Crawford has more power. The SB was the same. Gardner had the higher OBP. Crawford the SA. Gardner .383/.379; Crawford .356/.495.

The Yanks may need the savings to afford Lee.

Player A. 2011 salary will be $9m. 2010 .288-29-89, OPS+ 130. 1 SB.

Player B. 2010 salary was 7.5M. Agent is Boras, who will definitely ask for more than $9M. Let’s not forget the Yanks don’t have a nice relationship with Boras. 2010 .296-27-85, OPS+ 145. Had 13 SB. Numbers very similar to player A, except for speed. Player B struck out 147 times and hit .139 w/ 2 outs and RISP. RISP overall .186. Player A struck out 139 times. Similar. Player A a switch-hitter, Player B a righty. With two out and RISP, Player A in 2010 hit .293. .287 with RISP overall. Player A had a tough postseason.

162 ga. averages. A: .252-29-88, 1 SB. 116 OPS+    B: .272-25-85, 16 SB. 121 OPS+.

You may give a slight edge to B, but B was terrible in the clutch in 2010. B didn’t have a great postseason (6 for 30) but did have 2 HR.    

Player A is Swish. Player B. Werth. Say Boras gets Werth $13M a year. Is he $4M a year better than Swish? Maybe a bit better (esp. SB and a bit with the BA, OPS+) but for the money, $9M for Swish in 2011 is a bargain compared to what Bora$$ will ask for Werth.

The Yanks save considerably more money with Gardner and Swisher. They can use that money towards signing Lee (as well as the money recouped by dumping Vazquez). So where else do you get more money but keep the payroll the same? After all, Girardi got a slight raise.

Could it be by cutting the salaries (slightly) of Jeter and Mo?

We’ll see. But as for cost-effectiveness, I think Crawford and Werth (despite Reggie’s connections to Werth) are off the table and the Yanks target Lee and Lee only. Of course the Yanks might put their toe in the water regarding Crawford and Werth in an effort to drive up the price, but I see Lee as the Yanks’ only target.

After that, maybe deals for pitching. There are trade chips (see the post on prospects from a few days ago).

I don’t want Adam Dunn. For people considering that, no way. $12M last year and looking for more now in free agency? You can save that money. He’s one-dimensional. Can’t play the field, clogs up the bases. You need DH for Posada to go to (as well as keep it open for Jeter and Alex; see my plan below), and if the Yanks do decide to go with Montero catching with Cervelli, with Posada Dh-ing, you save a ton of money by having the minimum wage 21 year old Montero, not the over $12M you’d have to pay Dunn.

Could Montero give the 35-40 HR, 100 RBI of Dunn? Probably not. You also would hope he would hit higher than .250 or .260 (which is about what Dunn would give) and strike out far less than the 190 or so times Dunn would.

I’d DH Jorge 90 games, 30 games each Jeter and Alex. That’s 150/162 (meaning Thames may be gone). 6 games each to Swish and Teix. There is 162, giving rest to guys.

You hope Nunez could stay sharp by playing those 30 games at SS and 30 at 3B while you “rest” the aging Jeter and Alex when they DH.

Posada can play the 6 games at 1B while Teix rests at DH. Whoever is your backup OF can fill in for Swish for those six games.

Posada can get 40 games catching. Cervelli maybe 40, and (maybe this is the Yanks’ plan)? Montero 80.     

Here again, you save millions.

Of course, you then want bang for the buck. But if you are going to get similar numbers from Player A, at considerably less cost than Player B, wouldn’t you take the less expensive option?

Getting Lee is one thing. Doing it while keeping the payroll the same is another. Even with their payroll, the Yanks do need to bargain-hunt.

Or raise the prices even more. We don’t want that.

We’ll see how it plays out. I could be wrong.

But for those thinking Crawford, Werth or Dunn, I don’t think so.             

Morning reading.

If you get the chance today, check out Jayson Stark’s column on Johnny Damon on ESPN.com. 

Update, 3:30 PM: Joel Sherman has a good column on Damon, also. I can see where Sherman is coming from. In his timeline, Cashman accurately read the market value on Damon and offered the market value; Boras and Damon misread the market and when Cashman was turned down, Cashman immediately went to Options B and C (Johnson, Vazquez) not to mention D (Winn). He wasn’t going to wait around until Boras and Damon came to their senses and realized what the market value actually was. By that time all other options may have been dried up. He went after those options he wanted. He wasn’t going to bid against himself. In the end, Damon wound up with basically what Cashman thought Damon would get in the first place. Kudos to Cashman for not bidding against himself and knowing the market value of Damon. As Cashman said, if he wanted to be here (in NY) he would have found a way to make it happen. If Damon really preferred NY, he has no one to blame but himself and Boras.

Farnsworth(less) to be a starter?

Yankee fans memories of Kyle Farnsworth(less) aren’t very good. But can you imagine what those memories would be like if Farnsworth was a member of…gulp…the rotation?

MLB.com is reporting that the Royals are going to audition Farnsworth as a starter this spring training.

Interesting quote on MLB.com regarding the Braves’ one-year offer to Damon, and the counteroffers that could come in (parenthesis and emphasis mine):

…A Major League source, however, has indicated that the contract’s (by the Braves) total value is less than $4 million, which includes deferred money.

While the Braves have provided an offer, there is still a sense that they will eventually be outbid by the Tigers, who have recently increased their interest in Damon.

But it remains unclear whether the Tigers will be willing to provide the two-year offer that agent Scott Boras is seeking for Damon.

The Rays have also reportedly been a team that could prove to be a fit for Damon.

Less than $4M? Meanwhile, Bore-A$$ is still out there spinning. Wonder if anyone is buying?

Like I’ve said, should have dumped Bore-a$$, Johnny.

An ultimatum by Winn?

Apparently the $2m/yr. OF gave the Yanks an ultimatum, for Winn had an offer on the table from the Nats. The Yanks moved. Whether Damon would have lowered his demands, who knows (most likely not) but when Winn told the Yanks to make a decision or not, it was goodbye Johnny.

Most don’t think either side would have budged. I did read where some in the Yankees hierarchy thought a $6M deal (most of the $ deferred) could have brought JD back, but it would have had to be signed off on by a honeymooning Hal (NY Post article). But many think Hal still would have stuck to his guns.

I hear the radio today. How come every time I hear Harry Chapin, it’s always Cat in the Cradle? Hey, Taxi was a good tune. Why don’t I ever hear that one anymore?

Jim Edmonds, who didn’t play in 2009, signed a minor league deal with the Brew Crew.

3rd? Chad Jennings writes about Pecota’s prediction for the 2010 Yankees. A bunch of crap if you ask me. Hmmm….Seattle has Lee and King Felix and just 86 and no playoffs. Yanks have CC/AJ/Andy and Vazquez. Robertson, Joba and Hughes still developing. But 10 games worse? You never know, but what BS.

I know the Phils have bullpen issues, but just 88 with an infield of Howard, Utley, Rollins and Polanco? Hey, Ibanez, Victorino and Werth isn’t a shabby OF, either. The BS adds up.

Cashman may be getting help. Chad Jennings reports that ex-SD GM Kevin Towers, who is friends with Cashman, may join the Yanks’ front office. A good move if you ask me.

So I am driving home the other night, make a right hand turn onto a one-way street (on my way to my ATM) and what do I see…some SOB coming the other way. (…and yes, I was the one driving the right way).

According to Joel Sherman in the Post, the Yanks may still look at Rocco Baldelli, Reed Johnson or Marcus Thames…but on minor league deals.

MLBTR states that the Mets are interested in Tatis to platoon with Murphy at 1B, meaning goodbye Delgado. They maybe in the market for Smoltz. First Glavine, now Smoltz a Met? It isn’t just politics that makes strange bedfellows (but then we had Damon/Yankees; Gooden/ Yankees and Strawberry/Yankees).

Interesting some rumors. We should hold a “where will JD wind up” contest. Meanwhile, it’s certainly nice to see Boras grovel. 

           

…as I was saying…

A couple of posts ago, I advised Damon to dump Boras. Maybe I advised him too late.

It appears that Damon could wind up in …. Cincy. That’s one team rumored to be out there for him. There isn’t many. Tampa could be one place he may wind up in.

Interesting set of quotes on LoHud.

From Scott Boras: “The Yankees never even made an offer to me regarding Johnny Damon during the entire process.”

From Brian Cashman: “On Dec. 17, Scott’s exact words were that he would not take a penny less than $13 million a year for two years. We believed him.”

Ok, who do YOU believe?

I’ll tell you what I think. I’ll twist Bore-a$$’s words around a bit here. Here is what I think Bore-a$$ REALLY meant to say (see bold) :

   “The Yankees never even made an offer to me regarding Johnny Damon during the entire process that I would accept.”

I’m a little surprised at seeing that Miggy Cairo signed a minor league deal with Cincy. All summer long, while playing near my home (at AAA Lehigh Valley), he was saying (and at the time meaning it) that he was going to retire after this year. He was saying it to someone I know who works for the LV Iron Pigs and saw Cairo constantly. 

Championship Sunday, and what’s up with JD?

Rats. Work today. I’ll miss all of the AFC title game and almost all of the NFC. I’ll be able to catch the very end of the NFC’s.

The Post’s headline, featuring Ashley Dupre (think the Gov. Spitzer scandal) is tacky. Her picture and “Go All the Way, Jets.” Really tacky, but not that much more than the Post actually hiring her. Yes, her…to do a love/sex column.   

So, is there an ultimatum, deadline deal or not? Reports are that JD had a deadline to accept a low offer from the Yanks. JD denies it, as does Cashman. Could it be, as the Post surmises, that it was Bore-a$$ who gave the ultimatum to Cashman?

Meanwhile, Bill Madden of the NY Daily News writes on the situation. Madden rips into Boras. As Madden writes…

It could’ve been the Yankees. Should’ve been the Yankees and might still have been the Yankees as recently as Saturday if Damon wasn’t being misled and mishandled by his rep, Scott (Avenging Agent) Boras.

Still, as recently as a couple of days ago, there was renewed dialogue between Damon, Boras and the Yankees in which the Yankees made one last attempt to have a good Yankee remain a Yankee.

“Tell us your bottom line for what you’re willing to play for,” they said, “and if it’s in the realm of where our budget needs to be we can go to ownership (Hal Steinbrenner) and see if something can be worked out.” But instead of giving them a number, Boras came back with more of his patented “mystery team” hogwash, claiming he had a couple of other offers they were still considering.

If such is the case, Damon should do what A-Rod did—dump Boras and work out a deal on his own.

Tyler Kepner adds his opinion.

And from LoHud, this:

“How long it’s taking certain people to wake up and smell the coffee, that’s what surprises me,” Cashman said. “When you get on the phone with agents, they tell you one thing, and certain agents can’t honestly believe what they’re trying to convey. Do they think I’m stupid?”

Really, now. Who do you think Cashman is talking about here?

Get smart, Johnny. Dump Boras.  

In other news, the big G is going back to the Rockies, mostly to PH. He’s 39 and hit a combined .201-13-51, OPS + 92 for the A’s/Rox last year. Jason Giambi & his 409 HR (and the controversy over getting that many) is nearing the end of his career. 

Yanks, JD weren’t close in negotiations; and who would you target?

I don’t know the supposedly “hard and fast” number that the Steinbrenners gave to Cashman—whether it was to lop the budget $15M, $20M or whatever.

But it is coming out how far apart JD (who confirms his Yankee years are over…but never say never again…however as of now) and the Yanks were.

JD and his agent, Boras, wanted 3-4 years at the same amount. $13M a year. According to some, JD came back with a two-year, $26M offer, but the Yanks responded with 2-years and $14M. Big difference, and you may have seen that Matsui got $6.5 with the team-with-the-name-that-is-way-too-long. Apparently Damon lowered his demand to 2 years and $20 M but by that time the Yanks had moved on to Jolly Old St. Nick (Johnson) for 1 year at $5.5 with mutual options for the same for 2011.

After the 2010 season it gets interesting. Jeter and Mo. A 36 year old SS and a 41 year old closer. Two of the best ever (in Mo’s case, the BEST) at their positions. Two Yankee ICONS, guaranteed in the future to be two of the last—if not THE TWO LAST—people introduced at Old Timer’s Days. How much to retain them? How long?

Could Pettitte be retiring after 2010? Could the Yanks hit the market then and reunite CC with Lee? Wouldn’t that be a dream…Andy retires and Lee (free agent) replaces him.

Not only that, but there would be another CC available then—Carl Crawford. I salivate at thinking CC/Granderson speed in the OF, on the bases and the lefty bats.

As long as you can draw a walk, speed doesn’t go into slumps.

There is a debate over at the LoHud blog regarding which reclamation project the Yanks should focus on—Sheets, or Duchscherer. Chad Jennings says Sheets. Sam Borden says Duchscherer.

I say Sheets. Let’s compare the two.

Sheets: is 31, 32 next July. Career 86-83, 3.72, ERA+ 115. Big problem is that he missed last year and has never pitched 200 IP in a season since 2004. Since 2004 he has pitched 160 innings in a season just once. He is a 4x all-star who K’d 264 in 2004. I don’t expect that kind of dominance again, but if he can come close to the 2.70 of 2004 (when despite the K’s and ERA he was just 12-14), 3.33 of 2005 (another hard luck record, 10-9) or 13-9, 3.09 of 2008, great.

But the real reason I want Sheets over Duchscherer is this (as long as the health of both are the same and good): Sheets has started his whole career. 221 games. ALL starts.

Duchscherer is 32. 31-24, 3.14 in his career. ERA+ 138. Yes, the ERA is lower, but Duchscherer did that all basically, in relief. Before the 2008 season, Duchscherer had just five MLB starts. He did have three solid seasons as a setup man 2004-2006, with ERAs of 3.27, 2.21 and 2.97. But those were AS  A SETUP MAN. The only real season Duchscherer started was in 2008, when all 22 appearances were as a starter before getting hurt. Duchscherer, like Sheets, missed all of the 2009 season. In 2008 he was 10-8, 2.54 when going down. Superb. 141 2/3 IP. But due to his prior role, it was the only season in Duchscherer’s career where he threw over 100 IP.  

And that’s it. Why I prefer Sheets over Duchscherer. The age (Sheets is 8 months younger) isn’t too much of a factor. Both are coming off injuries. But Sheets has started much more, and despite his history, seems more likely to give the innings (if healthy) than Duchscherer would.

Now if we were talking about bullpen help rather than getting a reclamation project for the #4 rotation spot, then I’d say Duchscherer. But we are not. We are talking reclamation for back-end, and letting Joba/Hughes battle for #5 with the “loser” joining Aceves, Gaudin, Robertson, Mo, Marte, maybe a Melancon in what hopefully would be a killer bullpen.              

Update: Looking at various blogs, I don’t know where people are sometimes. I see a lot of people talking Holliday/Yankees. It isn’t going to happen, people. I can understand your thinking about saving money (Damon/Matsui) to go after Holliday. I don’t believe the Yanks would match what the Cardinals supposedly offered Holiday. I do believe that there is a budget and that if it were more that the Yanks would have upped the ante for JD or Matsui but not both. They had in them 1) two leaders respected by their teammates and who had clubhouse presence 2) two guys with postseason success 3) guys who understood and could handle NY.

In short, quit the Holliday talk. It’s ok to dream that, but it isn’t reality or going to happen. Personally, I think Holliday goes back to the Cardinals. There isn’t a market throwing lots of $ at OF right now. I think Bay goes to the Mets. Who else has made a huge offer? Damon could go to SF, although I think that because of his arm, an AL team and DHing would be better. Damon could (as MLBTR notes) slide into St. Louis if Holliday turns down the Cardinals. As for Holiday, beware. Maybe his RF power translates well to Yankee Stadium. He did hit an AS game HR there in 2008 and he has power to RF. But hIs H/A splits aren’t the best. .351 with 100 HR at home. .284 with 52 on the road. JD isn’t a CF anymore, so I don’t see JD in Chicago. The Cubs will probably look to move Fukodome to RF. Could they now be players for Marlon Byrd? I read where they had Granderson interest. Soriano is in LF. No fit in Wrigley for JD.

Back to Holliday for a second. I don’t see the Colorado numbers continuing. A .318 career hitter, I can still see him hitting .300. I don’t see the 34 and 36 HR numbers but more like 25-30. 90 to 100 RBI, maybe 105 in a good year. Not the 137 again. He is a 133 OPS+ for his career. Excellent. Even knocked down to 120 makes him solid. In short, I see him as solid. .292-27-97 is certainly solid. I don’t think he’d be the .318-34-120 beast that others think he would be.

But I see him staying in the NL. I don’t see him being on the Yanks at all. No, the Yanks as I see it aren’t after Holiday. Yes, believe it or not, they have a budget which they are sticking to, and I believe Cashman when he says that pitching is their top consideration right now. … and with Hinske and Hairston both on the market, a utility guy is probably on their list right now as well. Someone besides Ramiro Pena. Hairston back would be nice. I don’t see DeRosa, since he is asking for too much.

Some talk (Cameron before, Holliday now) I wish would just go away already. Especially when you don’t see it happening.