Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post wonders if the Nationals will end up paying up for a Scott Boras client, as they often do late in the offseason. In recent winters, owner Ted Lerner approved deals for players like Rafael Soriano, Max Scherzer and Matt Wieters after the calendar flipped to the new year, and there’s certainly a possibility it could happen again. Janes lists reliever Greg Holland, outfielder J.D. Martinez and starter Jake Arrieta as Boras clients who make sense for the club’s roster as it’s currently constructed. The Nationals have a history of doing business with Boras late in the year, or as Janes puts it, “When big-name Boras clients linger into the new year, the Nationals linger, too, as potential suitors, regardless of whether they have an obvious need.”
Elsewhere along the East Coast…
- Unlike the Nats, the Red Sox rarely make late splashes in the free agent market. Jen McCaffrey of masslive.com posits that this year might be different. Boston is still in need of an upgrade to their offense, and J.D. Martinez remains on the market. Though the only significant late-winter deals the club made in the past decade were one-year pacts with Mike Napoli and Adrian Beltre, the Red Sox are probably facing pressure from their fan base to improve an offense that finished dead last in the American League with 168 home runs and third to last with a 92 wRC+. Other big hitters still on the market include the likes of Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, though neither seem like particularly good fits for Boston.
- Though new Marlins second baseman Starlin Castro is generating some trade interest, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com believes he’s likely to stay put. Gary Denbo, the Marlins’ VP of player development and scouting, says that Castro “has the ability to hit for average, and for a second baseman, he does provide power for that position.” Denbo also says he hopes that the second baseman can be a steady defender in the middle of the field. Since coming to Miami in the blockbuster Giancarlo Stanton trade, speculation has swirled around Castro as a potential trade candidate. I recently noted that the 27-year-old perhaps has some surplus value in his contract, which has two years and $22MM in guarantees remaining. His .300/.338/.454 battling line with the Yankees last year is solid, but his defense up the middle detracts a bit from his value.