Tag: scott boras

Behind the Scenes of K-Rod’s Trade

Prior to being traded, Francisco Rodriguez made it known to Terry Collins that he wanted to eliminate the $17.5 vesting option in his contract. Rodriguez, according to the NY Times, felt it was interfering with how the Mets were using him as a closer. In a non save situation a few weeks prior to the trade, K-Rod began warming up, expecting to be brought into the game, and was upset with the implication that the Mets had not used him to avoid activation the vesting option.

A deal between the Mets and Rodriguez could not be worked out, but Alderson was able to convey to other teams that Rodriguez would be willing to forgo the option, making it much easier for the Mets to trade him.

The Mets completed a deal within 48 hours. In the next few days, Rodriguez agreed to restructure his contract, taking out the vesting clause and making the option a mutual one. Rodriguez was also paid an additional $500,000.

Part of Rodriguez’s motivation for getting rid of the option was that, at 29, he can probably get more total money with a longer contract after this season.

K-Rod also switched agents in the middle of trade talks to Scott Boras.

Since the trade, K-Rod has not finished any games for the Brewers but has been the eighth inning set up man for John Axford.

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Francisco Rodriguez Signs with Scott Boras

Per the official New York Mets website on MLB.com, Francisco Rodriguez has ditched agent Paul Kinzer for Scott Boras.

I don’t know how this can be good for the Mets.

As we all know, K-Rod is only 21 finishes away from the pot of gold — the $17.5M option for 2012 that automatically vests when Frankie finishes his 55th game. The cash-strapped Mets, of course, need to find a way to avoid paying $17.5M to a closer next year. They can’t keep him from finishing games or the MLBPA will be all over them. So the alternative is to trade him to another team — presumably one that needs him as a setup man, since it’s unlikely there are any teams out there who want to pay a closer not named Mariano $17.5M, either.

I’m not smart enough to know exactly how the Boras factor will play into the Mets’ ability to deal K-Rod, but my gut feeling is that somehow this will affect the dynamic of shipping him elsewhere. Who knows, maybe it could be a good thing. For example, maybe Boras can find a team that will take Rodriguez as a closer while simultaneously dropping the option and giving him a 3-year extension. Certainly, there are a few teams in the hunt who can use a lights-out closer.

What are your thoughts? Is the Boras factor a good thing, bad thing, or will he have no effect at all on the Mets’ ability to trade K-Rod? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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Braves Targeting Lowe

Per several sources, agent Scott Boras is meeting with the Atlanta Braves to talk about Derek Lowe.

Lowe had reportedly been offered a 3-year, $35M contract by the New York Mets. Boras is seeking at least four years at around $16M per season for his client.

In desperate need to add starting pitching, the Atlanta ended trade talks with the Padres for Jake Peavy a month ago, and most recently were spurned by longtime Brave John Smoltz, who just agreed to a one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox.

Seeing the talent pool thin, and Lowe’s price tag dropping to below-market standards, Braves GM Frank Wren reached out to Boras. In addition, manager Bobby Cox met with Lowe in Atlanta, and Chipper Jones placed a phone call to the free agent pitcher in hopes of turning him on to “America’s Team”.

Despite this three-way blitz from Atlanta, Ken Rosenthal claims,

“From what I understand, the Braves are not interested in going beyond the three-year, $36 million offer from the Mets… I still don’t see the Braves going where Scott Boras will want them to go.”

Well then Ken, they’re putting on an Oscar-winning performance in the art of the bluff.

Meanwhile, the Mets are standing firm with an offer that pales in comparison to what Carlos Silva received last year from the Seattle Mariners.

While they have Boras’ ear, one must wonder if the Braves will also inquire about Oliver Perez, another free agent handled by the superagent? After all, the 27-year-old lefty has a 6-4 record and 3.46 ERA, including one shutout, in his career against Atlanta.

Actually, the best scenario for Boras is for the Braves to sign Lowe, which would in turn jack up the price on Perez for the Mets. But while the Mets continue to play chicken, the market for both pitchers continues to swell — some reports have the Phillies and Brewers looking at Lowe, and the Angels could be in the bidding for either pitcher.

What if the Mets lose out on BOTH Lowe AND Perez? The next-best starter on the market is probably Jon Garland, who would be a nice innings-eater at the back end of the rotation, but doesn’t project to be much else — even with a change to the NL. After Garland, the quality drops off considerably, with Tim Redding and Randy Wolf — both of whom have been linked to the Mets this winter — leading the pack.

This should be a significant concern for Omar Minaya, who as of now has two healthy starting pitchers heading into spring training (which by the way is only 36 days away). Should Lowe, Perez, Garland, and Redding sign elsewhere — which is a distinct possibility — Minaya’s best chance of putting together a championship rotation will begin with a novena. Hope he has knee pads.

Take a look for yourself at the starters available after Perez and Lowe:

Healthy, but Mediocre to Adequate:

Jon Garland
Tim Redding
Randy Wolf
Braden Looper


Healthy, but Awful to Mediocre:

Chuck James
Livan Hernandez
Odalis Perez
Sidney Ponson
Josh Fogg
Elmer Dessens

Good Potential, Questionable Health:

Ben Sheets
Jason Jennings
Mark Prior
Andy Pettitte
Mark Mulder
Curt Schilling

Questionable Potential, Questionable Health:

Bartolo Colon
Pedro Martinez
Freddy Garcia
Orlando Hernandez
Tom Glavine
Tony Armas

Now, let’s consider a few things. First, Tom Glavine is not coming back, and neither is Braden Looper. In addition, the Mets won’t roll the dice on dicey arms such as Mulder, Jennings, and Prior. They might take a chance on Freddy Garcia, and might be forced to gamble on Sheets. Pedro and El Duque would love to come back, but then it would feel like Groundhog Day. If Schilling were a possibility — which he likely isn’t — he wouldn’t be available until at least July. I’m not even going to qualify Dessens, Fogg, and Ponson. Odalis Perez and Livan Hernandez have been linked to the Mets in the past, and they could get ST invites — the question is, would we care? Pettitte would be a nice coup to annoy the crosstown Yankees, but he’s already turned down a $10M offer the Mets aren’t likely to top. Chuck James had a 9.10 ERA last year; he’s a guy who would be nice to have at AAA — not someone holding up the middle of your rotation. That leaves the underwhelming trio of Garland, Redding, and Wolf as the last men standing — they’re not necessarily coveted, but rather the default values left over when the quality has exited the market.

Should the Mets be stuck with a combination of Redding, Garland, and/or Wolf supporting the back end of their rotation, they will have no choice but to bring in Manny Ramirez. If you can’t keep the other team from scoring, then you have to outscore ’em, right?

It will be interesting to see how this drama develops over the next two weeks …

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Mets Make Lowe Offer

According to the several sources, including the New York Times, the Mets have offered Derek Lowe a three-year, $36M contract.

If the Mets can get Lowe that cheap, I’ll be amazed. I find it hard to believe that no other team in MLB can afford a 3/36 deal for Lowe. If I were Brian Cashman, for example, I’d be on a flight to get to Lowe’s house ASAP to make a better offer. Think about it: the Brewers signed Jeff Suppan to a 4/42 deal back in the winter of 2006 — and Suppan was, back then, in a similar place as Lowe, though not quite as accomplished. I realize the economy has changed in the past two years, but #2/#3 starters who can crank out 200 innings a year and have impressive postseason numbers remain a rare commodity. If the Brewers, for example, allow the Mets to sign Lowe to such a paltry deal, then Milwaukee owner Mark Attanasio should be tarred and feathered for his remarkably inane, “woe is me” comments of last week. Three years and $36M is a bargain for a talent like Lowe — a bargain that ANY small market team can easily swallow, from St. Louis through Kansas City to Milwaukee.

Of course, my fingers are crossed that Lowe is crazy enough to accept such a low-ball offer — though that seems like hoping against hope with Scott Boras advising him.

On another note, it is my opinion that if the Mets do in fact sign Lowe to such an affordable contract, they should then have plenty of extra dough to throw at Oliver Perez as well — and spend it on the bipolar lefthander. Enough of this “one or the other” nonsense — sign them both! Last I checked, the Mets have only two healthy MLB starters returning, and will need all the rotation help they can get.

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