6:11pm: Boras spoke with Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star about Moustakas at greater length, and Mellinger suggests that Boras and Moustakas may be comfortable waiting until after the June draft to sign. At that point, there’d be no draft compensation attached to Moustakas, and there’d also be the possibility that more teams have unexpected needs at third base (or that unexpected contenders are looking to add).
Boras isn’t directly quoted regarding the possibility of waiting until June, it should be noted, and the agent spoke with some optimism that Moustakas could yet find a landing spot before the season begins.
“The teams are coming, and Moose is going to be playing baseball,” said Boras to Mellinger. “But I don’t control time, and I don’t control competitiveness. The question is when do those teams want to commit to winning, and of course I think he’ll be playing, yes.”
Boras does note that free agency would be a “totally different world” for Moustakas were draft forfeitures not attached to signing him, pointing out that the new CBA stipulates that players can only receive one QO in their career. With that in mind, perhaps Boras and Moustakas would be amenable to a one-year pact that would allow for another crack at the open market next season, when Moustakas will still be a relatively youthful 30 years old.
11:03am: Agent Scott Boras, who represents many of the top remaining free agents, suggested to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi that at least some of his clients could be nearing new contracts. (Twitter link.)
Boras represents four still-unsigned players who had spots on MLBTR’s Top 50 Free Agent list: Jake Arrieta, Mike Moustakas, Greg Holland, and Carlos Gonzalez. Four other players with other representation from that list of fifty names also remain available.
Morosi says he posed the question to Boras whether deals were imminent for any of his four top free agents. This was the response:
“We’re closer to deals than we were two weeks ago. Some of those things are only a phone call away.”
Clearly, there’s nothing earth-shattering in that quote. But it’s nevertheless notable to hear that real progress has been made. And given Boras’s frequent barrage of criticisms over the course of the offseason, it’s also worth emphasizing that this relative optimism could well be a real indication that the end is in sight for some of these players — particularly given the clear suggestion that there are some firm offers on the table.
Of course, there’s also little in the way of specifics. In some cases, Boras clients still seem to face relatively meager prospects for maximizing their value. MLBTR’s Steve Adams recently examined the remaining top-fifty free agents in a piece that covers the field of potential suitors and illustrates the less-than-ideal leverage situation from the players’ perspective.