A few notable agency changes from around the game that have been reported in recent days…
- Free agent outfielder Austin Jackson is now a client of Octagon, reports Tommy Stokke of FanRag Sports (via Twitter). After a pair of very nice seasons at the plate in 2012-13, Jackson’s bat has taken a significant step back, and while the resulting .260/.311/.361 batting line would cut it if he were still a premium defensive center fielder, metrics have soured on his outfield work along the way as well. Jackson also seems to have slowed down quite a bit, as the former 20-steal threat swiped just two bases in three attempts in 54 games with the White Sox last year before suffering a torn meniscus in his left knee that ended his season. Despite his veteran status, though, Jackson is still just 29 years old, so he’s certainly young enough for a career revival despite the lackluster play in recent years.
- Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez is now represented by agents Rick Thurman and Cesar Suarez of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, per FanRag’s Robert Murray (also on Twitter). Rodriguez, the active saves leader, won’t see his current offseason impacted in the way that Jackson will by the switch, but he’s just a year removed from free agency after Detroit exercised his $6MM club option back in October. While “K-Rod” no longer boasts the mid-90s heater he did in his younger days, the 34-year-old (35 next week) has still delivered quality results over the past four seasons, turning in a 2.82 ERA with 9.4 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 in 230 innings. And while his K/9 rate dropped to a solid-but-career-low 8.0 in 2016, he also registered a career-best 54.7 percent ground-ball rate in 2016.
- FanRag’s Jon Heyman tweets that Rangers prospect Joey Gallo is now represented by agent Scott Boras. Gallo has yet to establish himself in the Majors and has continued to post alarming strikeout totals to go along with his enormous power, but it should also be stressed that he he also only just turned 23 in mid-November. Gallo has received 80 grades on his power in scouting reports in recent years but will need to improve his contact skills to better tap into that ability, as he whiffed in nearly 35 percent of his plate appearances last year in Triple-A. Still, given his youth, there’s time for some improvement in that area, as even in his second tour through Triple-A this past year, he was more than four years younger than his average opponent. Third base no longer looks like a potential long-term home for Gallo in Texas due to the two-year extension signed by fellow Boras client Adrian Beltre, but the slugger could land across the diamond at first base and also see some time at DH in the next couple of years.
All of the changes reported here can be seen in MLBTR’s Agency Database, which contains representation information on more than 2,500 Major League and Minor League players. If you see any errors or omissions, please let us know via email: [email protected].