One of baseball’s most influential figures is opposed to the idea of the Orioles trading third baseman Manny Machado this winter – simply because he thinks the value won’t be there in return.
“Manny Machado is one of the greatest hitters of our time. He has an amazing gift, an amazing gift. You know when those players are that good, when their time comes, and there’s choice applied to them, there’s gonna be a marshalling of what the organization’s best interest is, what the player’s best interest is,” said uber-agent Scott Boras during his annual scrum with reporters at the winter meetings. “Normally that results in the player playing out his time with the team because it’s very difficult to look at a player at that level and give a club a value point for someone who is so gifted, knowing you only get him for one year.
“So, historically, that would be a difficult process. I can’t even think about the Baltimore Orioles without Manny Machado for 2018 because I think he is just a principal part of their winning. And I know from my conversations with Dan (Duquette) and Peter (Angelos) that they have every intention of continuing to win, to want to win.”
Boras does not represent Machado. But he is the agent for closer Zach Britton, who is also a free agent next winter, and Chris Davis, who has five more years left on his Orioles’ contract. So obviously Machado’s status, and whether the Orioles may be rebuilding, has a direct effect on a couple of Boras’ top clients.
Boras said he has talked to Duquette and is confident that Britton will not be traded.
“I met with the Orioles and obviously they’re, from everything we know, they covet Zach and want him to be with their club,” Boras said.
During his always entertaining conversation with the media, Boras was also asked about free agent Pedro Alvarez, who has twice signed deals in the spring with the Orioles. He spent most of last year, until a September call-up, at Triple-A Norfolk, experimenting in the outfield before playing first base.
“He went down and rebooted his career, playing first base all year long to give organizations an opportunity to (evaluate that). I don’t think anyone questions his power. He went down to Triple-A, 29-years-old and paid the price,” Boras said. “Rebooted his career, made the Triple-A All Star team, came back up to Baltimore and hit well. So, I think he provided them a clear vision. This guy has 35-home run power and I think he has the acumen to play first base, which was the unknown before.”
Boras sprinkled in some quotable gems during his wide-ranging interview, including calling the well-heeled New York Yankees, the “New York Tiffany’s” and saying, he could never “fault a good jeweler” who takes care of its investment.
About the direction he can forge for his clients, Boras said he’s a rider in the bus, and he can’t make the road, but he attempts to “find the path.”
Yep, another special day at the winter meetings.