22-year-old Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts has emerged as a quality big leaguer this year, and that often means that it’s time to wonder whether and when extension talks will begin. While agent Scott Boras isn’t known for deals that keep his players off the open market, he tells WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford that he is always willing to listen, even for a player with Bogaerts’ pedigree. Boras, who recently met with Boston president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski regarding several current Sox clients, explained: “Look, I always tell every team and every player, we’re an open door. Anything they want to look at and offer, and then the player just has to make his judgments, so we evaluate that.” He praised the organization for its work in helping Bogaerts make an impressive leap this year, though his (justifiably) high opinion of the young infielder also suggests that the price tag would be high. Bogaerts has slashed .325/.356/.429, with seven home runs and ten steals, over 602 plate appearances on the season and will be eligible for arbitration for the first time after 2016.
Here are some more links from around the game’s eastern divisions:
- The Nationals have pursued Orioles outfielder Gerardo Parra previously, including at this year’s trade deadline, and could make a run at him in free agency, James Wagner of the Washington Post writes. Washington ultimately lost the veteran to Baltimore, in part because the Nats wanted the Brewers to help cover his salary. But the team has a potential need for a left-handed-hitting outfielder who could spend time in center field, Wagner notes, and that could make Parra an offseason target. (For what it’s worth, I agree that Parra could be a good fit in D.C., though as I wrote recently, he might well command a significant contract this winter.) From his perspective, Parra says he is pleased to be with the O’s at present but noted that he maintains a high level of respect for Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo and manager Matt Williams, both of whom he knows from his days with the Diamondbacks.
- Phillies president Andy MacPhail says that he expects slugger Ryan Howard to be with the team next spring, as Jake Kaplan of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Despite trading other former core pieces, the club has yet to find a willing taker for enough of the aging slugger’s remaining $35MM in obligations to make a deal. “I don’t know what’s going to happen over the course of the winter, what opportunities may be available for us and for him,” said MacPhail. He continued to add: “But right now, he’s somebody that I think we have a vested interest in getting back healthy and getting him to Clearwater and getting that bat in our lineup that we don’t have without him.”
- The Phillies interviewed first base coach Juan Samuel as a managerial candidate before deciding to name Pete Mackanin the permanent skipper, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports. While Samuel says he’s more than open to returning to Philadelphia in a coaching capacity, Samuel indicated that he’d like to explore the possibility of finding a job running a club. “I’ve been cautious not trying to put my name out there because I just don’t want to [interview] for the sake of doing it,” he said. “If I feel like I have a shot and I think I could be the right guy then, of course, I would do it. I also think that I’m capable of doing it, I’m prepared and I’m ready to do it. I got a taste of it in Baltimore and I enjoyed it. It’s something that is my ultimate goal. Before I hang it up, I would like to get a shot, whether it’s here or somewhere else.”