Scott Boras Rumors

Quick Hits: Thome, Boras, Angels, Villalona, Rolen

Here's the latest from around the majors…

  • The Indians are no longer pursuing Jim Thome, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link) reports, as the team doesn't want to devote a roster spot to a full-time DH.  Thome is "healthy, working out [and] open to other clubs," Rosenthal notes.  Thome said in December that he was open to continuing his career in 2013.
  • Scott Boras plans to open a sports fitness center for his clients in south Florida next year, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports, in part to prevent players from getting associated with doctors and clinics associated with PEDs.  Boras says his clinic will “bring about a certain level of assurance that the players we represent are certainly given the best information and best professional training…We feel we can best avoid all of the outside resources that are attacking these young men and providing them with false information and less than licensed professional medical assistance.” 
  • The Angels twice chose to focus on their hitters ahead of their pitching rotation this winter, decisions that MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez feels will define their season, for better or worse.
  • Angel Villalona will join the Giants' Spring Training camp after obtaining a work visa to come to the United States, Baseball America's Ben Badler reports.  Villalona couldn't get a visa last year and was on MLB's restricted list in 2010-11 due to complications from being charged with murder in his native Dominican Republic in 2009, charges that were eventually dropped.
  • While Scott Rolen can't contribute on the field as he could in his prime, his veteran leadership can still be a big boost to a contender, MLB.com's Mike Bauman writes.  Rolen has toyed with retirement this winter but may be negotiating a return to the Reds.

NL East Links: Boras, Loria, Phillies, Chipper

It was on this day in 1999 that Dennis Martinez announced his retirement from baseball.  The first Major League player from Nicaragua, Martinez enjoyed a 23-year career with five teams, including spending his final season with Atlanta and eight years with Montreal from 1986-93.  "El Presidente" is best remembered for throwing the 13th perfect game in Major League history, shutting down the Dodgers on July 28, 1991.

Here's the latest from around the NL East…

  • Scott Boras has denied an accusation that he planted a rumor that the Marlins were close to signing Jose Valverde, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports.  Spencer reported on Monday that the Marlins/Valverde rumor was false, with one source suspecting that Boras planted the rumor to generate interest in his client.  Boras said he had "no motive" for creating the rumor since "what benefit would it be for me and my client to do that" when the false information could be so easily disproven.
  • Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has turned down several offers to buy the team in recent months, The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson reports, including a group led by former Florida governor Jeb Bush.  Loria has no intention to sell the team, though Jackson hears from an unnamed league official that Major League Baseball would prefer if Miami had an owner more willing to spend.
  • The additions of Mike Adams and Chad Durbin will improve the Phillies bullpen, but the team also needs one of their young relievers to fill key roles in 2013, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News writes.
  • Chipper Jones discussed the Braves' offseason moves and his upcoming visit to the team's Spring Training camp with MLB.com's Mark Bowman.  Though he accepted the Braves' invitation to spend five days at camp, Jones said he is enjoying retirement and has "not had the itch whatsoever" to play again.

Michael Bourn Rumors: Wednesday

It's no secret that the Mets would like to add Michael Bourn, the top free agent remaining. They dined with him, and their franchise player reached out to express interest. Though it's difficult to pinpoint other suitors for Bourn, the Indians could get involved if his asking price drops "a lot," Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported yesterday. Here are today's Bourn-related rumors with the most recent updates up top…

  • Agent Scott Boras is telling the Mets he has attractive offers for Bourn, and the Mets are essentially challenging Boras to prove those proposals exist, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. The Mets have discussed a three-year deal for Bourn and hinted at a willingness to offer a fourth season, Sherman adds. It’s possible the Mets would match the four-year, $40MM contract Angel Pagan obtained, but only if their 11th overall draft pick becomes protected. Interestingly, the Mets would prefer to wait until they have an agreement with Bourn before challenging the existing draft pick compensation rules, Sherman writes.
  • The Mets have discussed a three-year deal with Boras, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. However, the team isn’t willing to spend anywhere close to $15MM per season on the center fielder. Still, Boras maintains that interest remains strong in Bourn and free agent right-hander Kyle Lohse. “Bourn and Lohse have very viable markets and we’re negotiating with the clubs currently,” he told Rosenthal. The Braves never made Bourn an offer other than their qualifying offer, Rosenthal writes. Atlanta executives didn’t believe him to be worth more than $10-12MM per season for four years. Rosenthal lists the Mariners, Rangers and Cubs as potential suitors for Bourn.


Quick Hits: Johnson, Boras, Givens, Reds, Lowe

The newest member of the Rays organization, Kelly Johnson, spoke with reporters on a conference call earlier today about his signing with Tampa Bay. The veteran second baseman/outfielder said he respected the Rays way of playing baseball under manager Joe Maddon, which made joining the franchise an easy decision. "I wasn't surprised they were interested. I knew if I wanted to go to Tampa I had to be willing to move around. They called and I was happy hear from them."

Here is what's happening around the league…

  • Scott Boras denied his involvement with the planting of a rumor about his client Jose Valverde and an imminent deal with the Marlins, reports Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald
  • Mychal Givens will no longer play shortstop in the minors for the Orioles, but rather try his hand at pitching, writes Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com
  • Reds GM Walt Jocketty has yet to hear any updates from Scott Rolen while he remains at a stalemate with his four remaining arbitration-eligible players, says Mark Sheldon of MLB.com.
  • Francisco Liriano's deal with the Pirates remains on track to become official, but will not do so until his non-throwing arm heals so the veteran can take a physical, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
  • Derek Lowe will wait to see what other offers come his way after passing on a minor league deal from the Rockies, writes Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). 

Rosenthal On Tigers, Diamondbacks, Bourn

Two of the biggest MLB stories to emerge recently are the Justin Upton trade and the Mets’ interest in Michael Bourn. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports weighed in on both subjects in recent columns. Here are some highlights:

  • The Tigers like shortstop prospect Nick Ahmed and wanted him as part of a package for Rick Porcello, Rosenthal reports. Those talks would have made yesterday’s trade with the Braves a three-team deal. However, Arizona GM Kevin Towers suggested to the media yesterday that he’s comfortable with his starting pitching depth after acquiring Randall Delgado from the Braves.
  • The Mets would have the support of the MLBPA if they continue lobbying for the right to surrender a second round pick instead of a first rounder should they sign a free agent linked to draft pick compensation. But sympathy for the Mets would only go so far just one offseason after the completion of baseball’s collective bargaining agreement. MLB wouldn’t want to establish a precedent and would likely fight a grievance by the MLBPA, Rosenthal reports
  • Scott Boras, Bourn’s agent, is a factor in this as well, Rosenthal reports. MLB isn’t inclined to do Boras any favors such as making an exception for Bourn.

Boras Talks Bourn, Soriano, Lohse

Though many have expressed doubts that Michael Bourn, Rafael Soriano and Kyle Lohse will find lucrative free agent contracts, their agent suggests all three players will be just fine. Scott Boras, who represents each of the top three remaining free agents, told ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick that Bourn, Soriano and Lohse will do well, even if they remain unsigned as Spring Training approaches.

“People call me all the time and say, 'Man, your players aren't signed yet,'” Boras said. “Well, it doesn't really matter what time dinner is when you're the steak.”

All three players are linked to draft pick compensation after turning down qualifying offers at the beginning of the offseason (they're actually the only three free agents still linked to draft pick compensation). The Rangers have done legwork on Bourn, according to Crasnick, who notes that the Braves haven’t ruled out a reunion with the center fielder. Bourn could appeal to the Mariners, and Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik told Crasnick that he continues seeking bats.

"We have had a lot of dialogue regarding offense, but we would be open to anything," Zduriencik said.

Boras denied reports that he circled back to ask the Yankees about their interest in a one-year deal with Soriano. The Tigers continue expressing confidence in internal relief options such as Bruce Rondon, though they’re viewed as a possible suitor for Soriano along with the Blue Jays. However, Toronto would likely be reluctant to surrender a draft pick to sign the closer.

As for Lohse, the Rockies and Mets want starters, but prefer affordable options. Some view the Angels and Rangers as potential suitors for the right-hander, though their interest level remains unclear. While the Brewers could use pitching, GM Doug Melvin said he’s decided “this is the year we're probably going to go with some of our younger guys."


Quick Hits: Mauer, Boras, Upton, Park

MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes will interview Peter Gammons of MLB Network tomorrow, and if you have any particular questions you’d like Tim to ask the Hall of Famer we’d like to hear them. To get in touch you can leave a comment below, reach us on Twitter (@mlbtraderumors) or use MLBTR’s contact form. Here are today’s links…

  • An executive who asked the Twins about Joe Mauer heard the catcher isn't available, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports (on Twitter). Not only does Mauer have a no-trade clause, he's the face of the Twins and Minnesota isn't looking to dump salary.
  • Yahoo's Tim Brown tells the story of a recent meeting between Scott Boras and Marvin Miller. Check out Brown’s entire piece, which includes some thoughtful quotes from Boras and is definitely worth your time. Miller, the first executive director of the MLBPA, died this week at the age of 95.
  • Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com previews the outfield market in the aftermath of B.J. Upton’s five-year, $75.25MM contract with the Braves. The Phillies’ best offer to Upton was worth $55MM over five years, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports (on Twitter). The Red Sox weren't in on Upton, but have been in on Shane Victorino, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter).
  • Chan Ho Park is set to announce his retirement tomorrow, reports Korea's Yonhap News Agency (passed on by C. Trent Rosecrans of CBS Sports).  The 39-year-old right-hander was the first Korean-born player to reach the Major Leagues, posting a 4.36 ERA in 476 games over his 17 seasons in MLB from 1994-2010.  Park earned $85.46MM (hat tip to Baseball Reference) during his Major League career and pitched for seven teams.  Park spent the last two seasons pitching in Japan and South Korea, respectively. 

Marlins Notes: Samson, Nolasco, Boras, D’Backs

The baseball world is still reacting to Tuesday's stunning trade between the Marlins and Blue Jays, and here's the latest batch of news out of south Florida…

  • Team president David Samson discussed the trade, management's reasoning behind the move and how the Marlins are reacting to the negative publicity in a radio interview with Dan Le Batard on 790 AM Radio (Steven Cuce of SportsRadioInterviews.com has a partial transcript).
  • Also from the interview (passed on by Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post), Samson said that Ricky Nolasco won't be traded this winter and will be a Marlin in 2013 unless "the phone rings and something crazy happens."
  • The Marlins' team policy of not giving no-trade clauses has kept Scott Boras from directing his clients to Miami for the last 16 years, Boras tells Bob Nightengale of USA Today.  "I've never had a franchise player there because it was just not something my client wanted to risk," Boras said. "They (Marlins executives) were always upfront about it. They told me, 'We don't do no-trade clauses.' But it's very difficult to sell an expectancy to a player knowing that it might last for only one year."
  • The Marlins talked to the Diamondbacks about Jose Reyes before eventually including Reyes in the Toronto deal, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.  The D'Backs are known to be looking for help at third base and shortstop, despite acquiring Cliff Pennington earlier this month.  We heard yesterday that Miami had also discussed Reyes with the Red Sox prior to the big trade.

Quick Hits: Hamilton, Indians, Cardinals, Rockies

Links from around baseball..

  • David Lennon of Newsday ran down his predictions for the top free agents on this winter's market.  Lennon sees Josh Hamilton landing with the Brewers on a five-year deal and B.J. Upton getting a six-year pact from the Phillies.  Of course, MLBTR readers can put themselves in the mix for great prizes in our second annual free agent prediction contest.
  • The Indians should follow the example of the Athletics and overhaul their team this offseason, opines ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider sub. req'd).  Olney suggests that Cleveland can start the fire sale by trading shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to a team such as the A's, Mariners, Red Sox, or Yankees.
  • Speaking of the Tribe, Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer looks at how a tight financial situation and bad trades combined to hurt the Indians in recent years.
  • MLBTR has learned that Orioles left-hander Zach Phillips has rejected his outright assignment to Triple-A Norfolk and elected free agency.  Phillips, 26, posted a 3.17 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 42 Triple-A outings last season.
  • The Cardinals may pursue short-term fixes at both shortstop and second base rather than entrust their depth to organizational players such as Pete Kozma, Ryan Jackson, or Kolten Wong, writes Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • The Rockies could decide on their new manager early this week, writes Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.  Bench coach Tom Runnells, veteran slugger Jason Giambi, former Rockies shortstop Walt Weiss, and current Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams make up the club's final four of candidates.
  • Scott Boras takes a few minutes out of his busy schedule to chat with FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi about the offseason and how new television revenue will fuel spending over the next few months.
  • While strong numbers during a contract year may benefit free agents, teams aren't guaranteed to see a repeat performance from their new investments the following season, writes Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal

Daniel Seco contributed to this post.


Scott Boras To Represent Jose Valverde

Jose Valverde said he has hired Scott Boras to represent him this offseason, John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press reports. The 34-year-old right-hander will hit free agency in a matter of weeks when his multiyear contract with the Tigers expires.

Valverde downplayed the significance of the switch, saying "people change agents all the time." Last August Valverde switched agencies, leaving Praver/Shapiro for Proformance. The Tigers exercised their 2012 option months later, delaying Valverde’s free agency by a year.

In 65 innings this year, Valverde has a 4.02 ERA with 6.6 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9. He has 31 saves and an average fastball velocity of 93.3 mph. Be sure to check out MLBTR's Agency Database for information about each MLB player's representatives.