Scott Boras got one over on us: closer Rafael Soriano did indeed get the big bucks from the Washington Nationals. Every offseason we think to ourselves, "Did Scott Boras finally screw his client over? Are teams finally not giving into Scott Boras anymore?" 2013 seems different... or does it? Maybe this is finally the year that baseball finally says no to Scott Boras as he appears to be making desperate moves.
Just yesterday a flurry of reports came out that former Tigers closer Jose Valverde was "close" to signing with the Marlins. Today, the report was called "completely, utterly false." Aaron Gleeman of NBC Hardball Talk passes on the idea that Boras made up the potential signing to spur interest:
Valverde is represented by agent Scott Boras, about whom one of Spencer’s sources said: “This is a typical ploy by Scott Boras to attempt to create a market that doesn’t exist for his players, trying to drum up attention when no market exists.”
Desperate times call for desperate measures?
As for Bourn, The Star Ledger of New Jersey reports today that the Mets remain in "ongoing discussion" with centerfielder Michael Bourn. We mentioned before that the Mets are in dispute about the new CBA's mandate that the top 10 first round draft picks are protected when a team signs a free agent who was made a qualifying offer. The Mets are slated to pick 11th but feel that because the Pirates are getting a pick as compensation for not signing last year's top pick Mark Appel, they are entitled to keep their pick as one of the bottom-10 teams in baseball. What is new is that Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson will not even contest this rule unless they come to an agreement with Bourn.
If any change is necessary it would be a change in interpretation, but not a rule change itself," Alderson said. "This issue hasn't come up until now obviously because the fact that it only pertains to us this season; it will pertain to other clubs in future seasons. In the event we get to that point, I don’t think it's fair to say we're looking for a rule change. We're looking to clarify the effect of the existing rule.
So this "ongoing discussion" is probably Boras telling Alderson how many years and how much money Bourn should sign for, and Alderson telling Boras that they'll talk when he's reasonable. Simply put, no other team has any interest in Bourn and the Mets know it.
As for pitcher Kyle Lohse, Boras' other big client left on the market, there seems to be no movement. Check out mlbtraderumors.com to see how nothing is happening there, either. The Astros, Cubs, Rockies, Twins, Indians, Marlins, Red Sox, Royals, Pirates, and Blue Jays would all be able to sign Bourn or Lohse without giving up their top pick. Because I think the Blue Jays are done spending, I would put the Cubs or Red Sox as Lohse's best bet at this point.
Pitchers and catchers report in a week. Will Boras' players sign? We shall see. Every time I thought they wouldn't they have.