It seems to happen just about every year at the baseball winter meetings: Agent Scott Boras talks in a hallway and dozens of reporters jockey for position to try and hear the interview and get close enough to ask a question or two.
This time, I got close enough to hear an answer or two of three. He didn’t cover anything specifically on the Orioles in the time I was there, but MASNSports.com’s Jen Royle did talk to Carlos Pena, who said the O’s did offer him a deal and seemed open to possibly offering one beyond a year. It didn’t happen of course, in the end.
Boras was asked if he has discussions with Milwaukee and general manager Doug Melvin about a contract extension for Prince Fielder.
“We had discussions last year and Doug and I continue to talk. Doug and I will have meetings further about Prince’s short and long-term situation,” Boras said.
Boras almost never seems to agree to a contract extension for a key client that is one year from free agency, but is he open to an extension for Fielder?
“Our ears are open to anything. We are not closing the doors on Milwaukee. I have found some attractive information over the last few weeks on the value of hitters and sluggers, the rarity of it in the game today. Carlos Pena’s signing today is an example that when you have power, teams will aggressively pursue you. Anyone in this game that hits 25 homers and plays defense, you have extreme value, what I call new value.”
The above quote of course is a direct reference to the deal he cut with the Nats, where Jayson Werth signed for seven years and 126 million.
Does Boras think Milwaukee will trade Fielder?
“I have no idea. I just know that Prince is a young guy. You don’t get young guys with power in the marketplace. I mean, young in today’s world is 31, 32. Prince is 27.
“I met with Prince just a couple of weeks ago. We expected this when you are that talented. The freeway for sluggers is a pretty known one. He knows where the exits are and what route he is on. Prince has enjoyed his time in Milwaukee. He could stay there and be a franchise player.”
Here is what Boras said about Oakland and Adrian Beltre:
“We’re open to discussion with all teams and we’ve been going through a number of negotiations with a number of teams. There have been a lot of willing participants. We have told teams we would tell a team if we’re not interested and we have told the teams that we are. Oakland was a team he said he would be interested in looking at. We had meetings with their club.”
Best Boras line of the session:
“Offers are like curtains. There is opening and closing, but they are still in the room.”
Boras on Rafael Soriano:
“The closer market is always an interesting one. Teams never want anyone to know they are interested in closers, mainly because there are few 90 percent, shutdown 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, the candidates that you have to be a closer are not efficient for the role, because you may in fact end up with them. Clubs are cautious about talking about interest in closers because it has such an impact on those that may have to do the job.”
Boras on Johnny Damon:
“I think Johnny is open to playing for winning teams. He definitely wants to be part of an organization that has a chance to do something.”