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.
good grief even more pitchers about to have mediocre seasons next year by signing during spring training/after the draft…
Were the Angels being strategic this past off-season, offering Matt Harvey an above average contract for his talent level, in hopes of mending a relationship with Scott Boras?
Seems plausible considering Gerrit Cole is likely the top pitching free agent.
Seems like a stretch to me. That contract was well under what MLBTR predicted and I doubt Boras would be swayed so easily (I think it was $11m)
that was undoubtedly the highest contract Harvey was getting in the Free Agent Freeze era. He was clearly washed up in 2016 and never recovered. Im surrpised he even got a Major League deal.
can’t forget how Angel fans was calling it a steal with that contract thinking they received a ace. I got to think Angels are all in for either Cole or Madbum. Anything less and they had a bad off season.
Really? All the Angels fans I know immediately hated the Harvey deal.
I hope the angels go after Cole and Bumgarner. Imagine that staff…Cole, Ohtani, Bumgardner, Canning, Heaney and sprinkled in Suarez, Barria, Sandoval, Tropeano, Ramirez to supplement Ohtani’s and Canning’s workload. Not bad at all and definitely in the running for a WC berth.
100% positive nobody said that
RyÅn W Krol
In what universe? Star Wars? Game of Thrones?
Personally, I didn’t think he was worth the money he was given, but worth the risk considering it was just a 1 year deal.
RyÅn W Krol
I’d count it being more strategic in terms of just filling a hole with a stopgap to continue buying time for their farm system to be ready. Their window has been closed since 2016 and won’t open again until either next year ( if they attack the market for SP) or 2021.
Good point. I agree. And its not like their first choice was cahill and harvey. They offered contracts to the top tier pitchers and weren’t successful. But they tried to spend good money on pitchers. If they don’t get cole, then 2021 is more likely
good grief even more pitchers about to have mediocre seasons next year by signing late into spring training/after the draft…
Brian Goodwin is no longer represented by Boras as he is now with MVP Sports Group
Laureano back just in time. Now get Grossman/Pinder out of the lineup, and an outfield of Brown/Laureano/Canha/Profar will work just fine.
Nice Ramon is definitely gonna play a key role this month
Being a Halos fan, all I know is the last few years have been a real disappointment. This year is just the same story where lack of starting pitching and even a true number one ace is something that they need to address this offseason. It’s sad how fans like me and others I know are aware of what we need to do but Artie and upper management seem to be oblivious. It’s time to get a few good starting pitchers one way or another.
RyÅn W Krol
FYI, the organization’s top priority has been rebuilding their farm system and locking up Trout. All these additions they’ve been making were either for the future or stop gaps to buy time for their prospects to get ready and not have to force them up. That’s what happens when a franchise rebuilds but still has money to spend. Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers all did this. Pretty much every team holding a playoff spot right now is in a position to contend long-term because they rebuilt their farm systems and at least have enough money to supplement. Angels have the offensive depth they need and have a young, promising bullpen. The next step is to attack the market for starting pitching and perhaps an established reliever for depth. Angels won’t be a lock for postseason contention until next year or 2021. Might want to get the actual lowdown on the team you’re following before calling them oblivious.
I respect your opinion and would have hoped you would do the same before you post something like that. You can rebuild your farm all you want and lock up Trout. (Glad they have and did…) But if you don’t have starting pitching year after year that can’t go past 4 innings then you have a problem. That Ryan, was my point
RyÅn W Krol
I was stating a fact. And you’re not understanding what the point actually is. They knew they weren’t locks for postseason contention. Again, they’ve focused on rebuilding their farm system and locking up Trout. Their window has been closed since 2016. Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers all went through it. Angels know they’re not going to be ready until next year or 2021. So your point about starting pitching is irrelevant. If they were really in a position to contend, they would’ve gone all out on getting the pitching they needed. I would’ve respected your opinion more if it were an informed opinion.
Moreno has stayed at the same annual player’s payroll for several years now. There is no indication that his payroll budget will change for 2020. I predict he will do what he has done in the past, which is make low ball offers to top talent free agent pitchers, get turned down, but have the ability to say he was “in” on several pitchers. He has to decide to increase the payroll budget and make serious offers to pitchers who are good today, not yesterday, or three years ago.
The bidding for the top pitchers will be outrageous! I am not a fan of Eppler’s ability to build a rotation. It will probably take 6/180+ to sign Cole, where the rest of the starters will go for under 100 million. They can afford one huge contract and one second tier contract. The other huge need is at catcher. Eppler should try to trade with the Cubs for Caratini. Bullpens you never know from year to year.
There is potential to compete next season but all the pressure is on Eppler.
RyÅn W Krol
The only real pressure on Eppler has been loving up Trout and rebuilding the farm system. Any pressure to compete the last 4 years has been just made up by fans.
Need a refresher on compensatory picks. If the Angels sign a top tier pitcher tied to a comp pick, then they will lose the #11 (as of now) overall pick? Are any picks protected? Top ten?
All first round picks are protected now, since 2018 draft. The way I read it, the Angels would have to give up their 2nd highest pick plus lose $500k international bonus pool if they sign a qualifying offer free agent.
Good info, thanks! For a guy like Cole, it seems beyond worth it.