The relationship between Scott Boras and Angels owner Arte Moreno is a notable subplot of the Halos’ plans to upgrade their starting pitching this winter, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal writes (subscription required). There has been some level of friction between Moreno and Boras ever since the Angels came up short in their pursuit of free agent and Boras client Mark Teixeira in the 2008-09 offseason. This isn’t to say that the two sides haven’t worked together since, as current Angels such as Noe Ramirez and top prospect Jo Adell are all represented by the Boras Corporation, and the Angels have signed Boras clients like Ryan Madson and Matt Harvey to notable deals in recent years.
Still, the modest Madson/Harvey contracts are a far cry from what it would take to sign one of the several Boras clients at or near the top of the free agent pitching market — i.e. Gerrit Cole, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dallas Keuchel, and (if he opts out of his contract) Stephen Strasburg. Even beyond the Boras clients, Rosenthal notes that Los Angeles also couldn’t come to terms with any upper-tier free agent arms the team pursued last winter, leading the Angels towards their ill-fated strategy of signing players like Harvey to one-year contracts. Beyond free agency, Rosenthal wonders if the Halos could trade for pitching by offering from a farm system that is heavy on position-player talent, if not necessarily elite talent (besides Adell) in the eyes of most prospect rankings.
More from around the AL West…
- Ramon Laureano is on track to return from the injured list during the Athletics’ upcoming series with the Tigers, A’s manager Bob Melvin told media (including Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle). A stress reaction in his right shin has kept Laureano out since July 28, cutting short a white-hot hitting streak that had seen the outfielder post a 1.264 OPS over his previous 93 plate appearances. For the season as a whole, Laureano has a .284/.334/.518 slash line and 21 homers in 419 PA, and he’ll reclaim his usual center field role upon his return. Laureano’s activation will help an Oakland outfield that has been further depleted by the loss of Stephen Piscotty to an ankle sprain. Piscotty hit the IL on August 25 and has yet to begin baseball activities, Melvin said, so it isn’t known when Piscotty could return to the lineup. [UPDATE: Laureano will return on Friday, Melvin told the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser and other media members]
- Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford will miss roughly two weeks due to a hamstring strain, GM Jerry Dipoto told the Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish and other media. Crawford was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain, which is the lowest level of severity, though “some areas of the strain [are] nearing a Grade 2,” Divish writes. It isn’t out of the question that Crawford’s season could be over, as Dipoto said the M’s “won’t push” Crawford if any complications arise. Acquired as the young centerpiece of the trade that sent Jean Segura to the Phillies last winter, Crawford has a .241/.322/.397 slash line over 338 plate appearances in his first season as a Mariner.