The Boras Corporation regained the top spot last offseason with big deals for Jayson Werth, Adrian Beltre, Carlos Gonzalez, and Rafael Soriano. Several of the likely $100MM+ players for the 2011-12 offseason – Albert Pujols, C.C. Sabathia, and Jose Reyes – are not represented by Boras, but let's see what lies ahead for baseball's most notorious agency after the situations of top draft picks like Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon are resolved today.
Boras has six notable free agents, unless he swipes a few more clients before the offseason begins.
- Prince Fielder is only 27 years old and ranks second in the NL with a .987 OPS. Power pays on the free agent market, and Fielder could be the second player in baseball history to receive a $200MM contract. However, if the Cubs don't get serious about the slugger, Boras will have to be creative in finding a few teams to create a bidding war.
- It'll be interesting to hear how Boras spins Edwin Jackson, owner of a career ERA of 4.53. Maybe the pitch will be that he's 27, he throws 95, he's consistently healthy (last night's hamstring injury notwithstanding), he's on the upswing, and we still haven't seen the best of him. Four years and $50MM wouldn't surprise me.
- A strong, healthy finish would go a long way for Carlos Beltran, who hasn't done much with the Giants and is battling a strained hand. We heard in July that Boras could aim for five years and $70MM, and I've suggested a four-year, $52MM finishing point, but so much depends on Beltran's finish. With Beltran turning 35 in April, that fourth year will be a tough sell.
- Boras has a couple of quality relievers in Ryan Madson and Francisco Rodriguez. As a 30-year-old with rare consistency for a reliever, Madson is positioned for a surprisingly big contract, maybe four years and perhaps a salary over $8MM per year. K-Rod's status is similarly strong, save for last year's stint on the disqualified list.
- Boras found Carlos Pena a $10MM deal coming off a .196 batting average. The numbers are a little better this time around, but it's hard to commit multiple years to a regular who hits around .220.
- The agency has many other once-prominent free agents, but Magglio Ordonez, Johnny Damon, Ivan Rodriguez, Andruw Jones and the like don't figure to score big contracts. Additionally, it's hard to picture Rafael Soriano opting out of his deal with the Yankees.
Boras has no shortage of arbitration eligible clients. The biggest names:
- Elvis Andrus, Dexter Fowler, Ian Kennedy, and Max Scherzer are among those who will be eligible for the first time. No records will be broken here, but Scherzer should push $4MM.
- Boras' second timers include Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, Jair Jurrjens, and Mike Pelfrey. Ellsbury won't get close to Miguel Cabrera's $11.3MM record, but he should get into the $6MM range. An MVP award would provide a nice salary boost for Ellsbury.
- The agency's notable third timers are Jered Weaver, Michael Bourn, and Jonathan Sanchez. Weaver is already the first and second time arbitration record holder for starters, and this winter he figures to topple Carlos Zambrano's $12.4MM mark for a third time starting pitcher.