Over the last two offseasons, the Boras Corporation has negotiated innovative contracts for clients Zach Britton, Yusei Kikuchi, and Jake Arrieta that involved a dual-option year between the player and the team. In all three deals, the club can exercise a longer-term option over the player or decline that option, which gives the player the chance to either enact an opt-out clause or (in Kikuchi’s case) to add another player option season.
Scott Boras, never at a loss for colorful phrasing, describes this type of contract as a “swellopt,” as the agent tells The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link). “For the club, if the player performs well, the club can opt in (contract swells). For the player, if the club doesn’t opt in, the player has the choice to continue with contract (swell) or opt out. It’s a swell option for both,” Boras explained. This type of contract structure could end up being more commonly used around baseball, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post details how teams in the hunt for Bryce Harper (another Boras client) or Manny Machado could deploy the “swellopt” to land on a favorable contract for both sides.
Some more from around the baseball world…
- The Athletics have been in touch with Brett Anderson about a possible reunion in 2019, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Ben Ross writes. Multiple other teams have also shown interest in Anderson, so it isn’t certain if the veteran left-hander will have to settle for another minor league contract or if he’ll be able to land a Major League deal. Pitching for the A’s on a minors pact in 2018, Anderson delivered his typical low-strikeout, high-grounder performance, posting a 4.48 ERA, 3.62 K/BB rate, 5.27 K/9, and 55.6% grounder rate over 80 1/3 innings. Anderson’s season was shortened by two DL stints due to shoulder issues and a forearm strain, and these latest entries to the southpaw’s lengthy injury history could also certainly impact his chances at a guaranteed MLB contract. Anderson would hardly be a sure thing for the A’s, though the team is looking for all the rotation depth it can muster given the inexperience and injury-related question marks surrounding most of the names on the rotation depth chart.
- Hunter Pence has received “several” offers from teams, the outfielder tells El Nuevo Diario’s Angel Luis Mercedes (hat tip to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle). After a pair of down years, Pence is attempting to trigger a late-career rebound in his typical unique fashion, by attempting to overhaul his swing while playing in the Dominican Winter League. Given Pence’s lack of success in 2017-18, Shea figures the veteran’s offers are of the minor league variety, as teams will give Pence a look in Spring Training to see if his new swing holds any promise.