The Red Sox didn't get their man at the winter meetings

The Red Sox didn't get their man at the winter meetings

Postautor: lucky » 16 gru 2017, o 09:36

Here's the thing: With their young core and all-world ace Chris Sale, the Red Sox are built to win now. But they have an urgent need for a slugger after finishing last in the American League in home runs for the first time since 1993, getting bounced in the division series for a second straight year and seeing the power-packed New York Yankees muscle up even more by trading for Stanton. And guess who represents J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer, the two best free-agent hitters.
But Boras needs the Red Sox as much as they need him. Martinez recently hired him and ditched longtime agent Bob Garber because he believes Boras can show him the most money. Hosmer has been with Boras throughout his career in preparation for this offseason, when, at age 28, he's one of the youngest players in free agency.
For more than an hour Wednesday, Boras held court with reporters at the winter meetings and hyped Martinez, Hosmer and other clients as only he can. He mentioned Martinez's .690 slugging percentage last season, continued to dub him "the King Kong of slugging" and made sure everyone knew the 30-year-old outfielder doesn't mind being a designated hitter. His sales pitch on Hosmer included the concept of "prestige value," a metric Boras invented for intangibles such as leadership in the clubhouse, instincts on the field and a reputation as a winner.
Boras' job is to drum up as much interest as possible in his players, which may be why he brought Martinez, a Florida resident, to the meetings on Wednesday. But he also knows Boston is a big market and owner Frank Gore Authentic Jersey John Henry is willing to raise payroll above the $197 million competitive-balance threshold. The easiest way for Boras to get a big payday for Martinez and Hosmer is to place at least one of them with the power-deprived Red Sox.
Dombrowski is known for being expeditious in identifying players he wants and closing deals, and indications are he's ready to move on a contract, most likely for Martinez. Boras has a reputation for slow-playing the offseason, allowing other agents to set the market and then extracting more money or additional years from teams that finally get tired of waiting.
And the Red Sox have little choice other than to wait. After swapping most of their top prospects over the past two years to get closer Craig Kimbrel, left-hander Drew Pomeranz, reliever Tyler Thornburg and Sale, the farm system is no longer fertile enough to support another trade for, say, Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu. The Sox asked about outfielder Marcell Ozuna and were told they didn't have the upper-level pitching prospect the Miami Marlins wound up getting from the St. Louis Cardinals.
Dombrowski could pivot to a second-tier free agent (Carlos Santana, for instance), but the drop-off from Martinez is considerable. And so, the Red Sox face the tricky proposition of waiting for Boras to get down to business while also trying to explore alternatives and keeping as many options open as they can.
"It's something that we talk about all the time," Dombrowski said. "I think it's based upon feel and pulse and where you think the market is and when you need Authentic Malik Hooker Jersey to make a decision rather than when you might have to make a decision. There's a risk-reward attached to that. Because some players are going to start signing pretty soon, and if you wait, you lose some players that you may have interest in."
The Red Sox and Martinez appear to be a perfect match, and they eventually might strike a deal. For now, though, Dombrowski and Boras will continue to sit on opposite coasts and stare at each other like Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov over a chess board, each waiting for the other to flinch. "When you're in the bus, you don't go anywhere without a road. And I don't make those roads," Boras said. "You don't call a team and direct them. They control the labor force. They control the offers." Regardless, the time is coming for someone to make a move. The Dombrowski-Boras stalemate Authentic Carlos Martinez Jersey can't last forever.
Now that executives from all 30 clubs have dispersed, everyone is waiting for the inevitable surge of activity. But when? There was once a time when the big free agents felt a sense of urgency to find homes by Christmas. Now it seems inevitable that some very good players will be looking for jobs in January and even February. Seattle's Jerry Dipoto isn't the only general manager who thinks trade first, free agency later.
"As front offices become more robust, there's a lot more discussion in and around the entire landscape,'' said Toronto GM Ross Atkins. "When you have 30-man baseball operations teams who understand every single system and every single major league roster, it creates more opportunities. The landscape is just a little bit bigger on the trade side, and that might be slowing things down in free agency.''
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