Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Boras on Strasburg, Pena, Harper

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- There's really nothing quite like big media scrum around Scott Boras. Reporters fire off questions about more than a dozen players who are represented by Boras, who doesn't even have to pause and think before he responds with a detailed (and usually glowing) analysis of the market for said player.

And since the Nationals have so many ties to Boras now -- Jayson Werth, Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Ivan Rodriguez, Jesus Flores, Danny Espinosa and Alberto Gonzalez -- are all represented by him, as a reporter you have no choice but to wedge yourself into the scrum when Boras speaks at the Winter Meetings and glean whatever nuggets you can get out of him.

So, here's what the super agent had to say about some Nats-related matters just a few minutes ago...

On Stephen Strasburg: "His spirits are high. Coming through the surgery and understanding that he's A-OK and listening to the doctors comment, I think it's turned out where he's on the path of a very solid understanding of his future and where he can go."

On Strasburg's mechanics and whether he'll need to change them post-surgery: "I think we're going to leave the mechanics to the Washington Nationals. There's a lot of things that are said. But we've been through the Tommy John situation with a whole host of pitchers in my career. To suggest that a young thrower with all of that ability, to determine when that occurred or why it occurred, I think it's a difficult [conclusion to make that Strasburg's mechanics caused the injury]. Certainly the medical staff has, with the certainty that so many prognosticators have put out there, they're not quite so certain that's the case."

On the Nats' pursuit of Carlos Pena (who signed with the Cubs today): "We've had ongoing discussions with the Nationals. And certainly the Nationals are interested in first base specifically."

On Bryce Harper's performance in the Arizona Fall League: "Wow. I mean, Bryce's performances are always stunning, because you've got a guy that should be in high school hitting .350 with some power in the Arizona Fall League, where you've got a bunch of veteran, minor-league players and professional athletes at that level. For Bryce, it just continues. He's playing in junior college when he should be playing in junior high school. And he's playing in the Arizona Fall League when he should be a senior in high school. He's an extraordinary talent."

On Harper getting ABs in big-league camp this spring: "If that's the case, I don't think anything surprises Bryce. He just gets in there and plays."

And, as an added bonus, here's what Carlos Pena had to say about offers he received from other teams (including the Nationals) before he elected to sign with Chicago for one year and $10 million...

CARLOS PE√ĎA
"I had some opportunities to go multi-year, some multi-year opportunities. However, I just thought that to play for the Cubs was my preference. When I looked around at the teams that were interested, which to me, it flatters me to see how much interest there was. I still thought that the Cubs was my best option. I love the city. My family loves the city. I think we have a pretty good chance at winning. I have all of the confident in the world in the team that we have, and I believe that's even going to get better. We have a park, the history, what can I say? It's truly one of those teams that when you're a kid, you kind of dream about playing for. When I was 10 years old, I used to watch George Bell, Ryne Sandberg, [Shawon] Dunston, Andre Dawson. It was a regular thing at home, and I'm very happy to be part of this ballclub."

14 comments:

PAY TO PLAY said...

I saw Boras on that staging area with the throng of reporters around him like riders at rush hour on a packed Metro. Unreal! He always seems the most important guy at MLB affiliated meetings where agents are in attendance!

JamesFan said...

Some may be frustrated with Boras, but if I was a player, he would be my guy. He represents his players with toughness and smarts, and gets the best value for their ability. What's wrong with that. It's a business after all.

Anonymous said...

Mark, if you get this, ESPN just said that the Nats were the team with the 7 year offer (again) for Lee. Any news that you heard of?

NatsJack in Florida said...

The very last place I go for baseball news is ESPN. Actually, it's the last place I go for anything news related.

Pilchard said...

Pena,

Chicago > DC

Cubs = winners in comparison to the Nats. IOW, Nats = losers

NatinBeantown said...

Anon 2:40 - I wouldn't be surprised if that's a regurgitation of the NY Post's Sherman guessing at who the mystery team (or teams) that have offered 7 years, since the Rangers and Yankees have so adamantly denied. His guess:

Maybe it really is the Nationals. One executive told me Washington's spending urge is being fueled by a perfect storm of an 85-year-old owner (Ted Lerner) who wants to win now and his son (Mark), who aggressively wants to make a name for himself and the franchise. As an NL executive said, "Once you give Jayson Werth seven years all bets are off for what you will do next."

I have to insist that I rather enjoy the Nats current perception as crazed, prolific spenders. What a change!

NatinBeantown said...

...and also, what NatsJack said. ESPN is to journalism as Vince Gray is to charm.

PAY TO PLAY said...

If some team comes close to the 7 year $160+ mill deal Lee is looking for, that may get him.

That equates to $23 million a year. I think to see if it is worth it you have to look at the value over a #2 or #3 pitcher you may be contemplating to sign as it is the incremental amount you will pay over a replacement pitcher, and the length of the contract are the 2 big considerations as it isn't so much the next 3 to 4 years, as it is years 5, 6, and 7 when Cliff Lee is 37, 38, and 39 years old and actuarily the decline of most pitchers careers as he may be worthless at that point.

Andy Pettite was 38 years old this past season so it can still be done at that age which happened to be Pettite best W/L % of his career!

Glad its not my money! I think Rizzo is smart enough to know when to walk away and know when to run.

Bob L. Head said...

I found Pena's comments somewhat refreshing, he took less years and signed with the Cubs because he likes the park, the city and the history. Of course I'm probably a sucker for that language because I'm from Chicago and grew up a Cubs fan. However, from that perspective, I can also say the following: wait, he knows the history and is still confident of winning? Sign him up, he'll fit right in on the North Side.

Anonymous said...

Since this is a Boras thread, it is appropriate to mention with all the rumor that goes on around these meetings that it is usually fueled by the agent's and team's leaks with more lying and BSing going on then at a Bachelor Party in Las Vegas!

Anonymous said...

Pena took a 1 year contract hoping to rebound from a dismal 09 showing. Or the Cubs don't think he rates more than a 1 year contract.

Anonymous said...

Pena + NL East pitching (Halladay, Oswalt, T. Hudson, J. Johnson, J. Santana) = another under .200 batting avg. and bad payday for 2012. Cubs best for future contract offers.

Big Cat said...

Harper isn't gonna miss a beat. He's comin to spring training and is goona just rip it up. I say keep him in the bigs. He's ready

Doc said...

ST will tell, but I think you're right Big Cat. Harper is a more advanced hitter than Bernadina, Maxwell, or Morgan in the OF.

He's good enough to hit LHPers as well as RHPers. He also goes opposite field in a skilled manner, and his bat speed will be talked about.

Still it won't hurt him to leave ST and play through the minors. He could easily start at AA, but I doubt that Rizzo will see it that way.

We'll leave the IF guys out of this comparison. In time, Harper will settle, with his bat, any comparitive discussion.

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