LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.- The Scott Boras media scrum has lasted more than an hour outside the media room at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort with little Orioles subject matter, given that the priciest free agents in his stable aren’t coming to Baltimore.
Boras confirmed his meeting with executive vice president Dan Duquette, which took place Monday afternoon. Closer Zach Britton is a trade target at the Winter Meetings, but Boras said he doesn’t think the left-hander is on the block.
“I met with the Orioles and obviously they’re, from everything we know, they covet Zach and want him to be with their club,” Boras said.
Boras touted Pedro Álvarez’s 2017 season, spend mostly at Triple-A Norfolk, but didn’t answer whether the veteran slugger could re-sign with the Orioles for a third consecutive spring.
He also ignored how Álvarez began the year in right field before the experiment ended and shifted him to first base.
Álvarez went 10-for-32 (.313) in 14 games after his September call-up, with one double, one home run, four RBIs and 10 strikeouts. He batted .239/.294/.442 with 31 doubles, one triple, 26 home runs and 89 RBIs in 138 games at Norfolk.
“Certainly he went down and rebooted his career and played first base all year long to give organizations an opportunity to ... I don’t think anybody questions his power or his skill,” Boras said. “He went down to Triple-A at 29 years old and paid the price, rebooted his career, made the Triple-A All-Star team, came back to Baltimore and hit well.
“I think he provided them a clear vision that this guy has 35-home run power and I think he has the acumen to play first base, which was the unknown before.”
“Manny Machado is one of the greatest hitters of our time,” Boras said. “He has an amazing gift, an amazing gift. You know when those players are that good, when their time comes, and there’s choice applied to them, there’s going be a marshaling of what the organization’s best interest is, what the player’s best interest is. Normally that results in the player playing out his time with the team, because it’s very difficult to look at a player at that level and give a club a value point for someone who is so gifted knowing you only get him for one year. So historically, that would be a difficult process.
“I can’t even think about the Baltimore Orioles without Manny Machado for 2018 because I think he is just a principal part of their winning and I know from my conversations with Dan and Peter (Angelos) that they have every intention of continuing to win, to want to win.”
I’ll close this entry with Boras’ best line in regards to the Marlins and their trade of Giancarlo Stanton.
“We’ve seen one of our major league jewelry stores become a pawn shop.”