Player agent Scott Boras made his presence known Wednesday at the general manager meetings in Carlsbad, Calif., as he discussed a number of baseball’s hottest topics.
Here are some of the most intriguing items discussed by Boras on Wednesday.
Bryce Harper’s free agency is the top story to watch this offseason and it earned a nickname Wednesday.
“Certainly Harper’s Bazaar has begun,” the agent said, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. “It’s fashionable. It’s historical. It’s elite. Global certainly. And certainly it has inspirations that deal with great shoes and great hair.”
Harper’s decision earned more attention this week after a report claimed he turned down a $300-million deal from the Washington Nationals.
It seems the outfielder is going to speak with a lot of interested teams before making a decision about his future home.
“I think Bryce is open to a lot of opportunities … As we go through this I think he’s going to hear everything from everyone,” Boras said, according to Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston.
Boras loves metaphors and there were plenty when he pointed fingers at the Toronto Blue Jays, Miami Marlins, and Minnesota Twins for fielding anti-competitive teams.
The agent said Toronto was suffering from the “Blue Flu,” the attendance at Marlins Park “puts the M-I-A in Miami,” and “sometimes only one of the Twins shows up” in Minnesota.
He went on to claim the college baseball program at Louisiana State averaged a higher attendance than the Marlins did in the majors this past season.
Russell’s future in Chicago
When asked about the status of shortstop Addison Russell and his future with the Chicago Cubs, Boras said he believed the organization would keep the 24-year-old, who has 28 games left to serve on his suspension for violating the league’s domestic violence policy.
“We’re communicating closely with the Cubs and Addison is working on his therapy,” he said, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. “And going forward the team is clearly in line and directly involved with Addison, and I have no expectation otherwise.”
On Monday, Cubs president Theo Epstein said Russell’s future in Chicago “remains an open question.”
Agent-turned-GM Brodie Van Wagenen
Boras was asked to discuss the recent hiring by the New York Mets of Van Wagenen, a former player agent who was employed by Jacob deGrom and Yoenis Cespedes and is now their boss.
“Philosophically, I’ve always rejected the notion” he explained when asked about agents becoming general managers, according to MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.
Boras continued by saying an agent becoming a GM is “a breach of ethics” and that when he meets with the Mets to discuss future negotiations, he’ll speak with Fred or Jeff Wilpon, or other staffers, instead of Van Wagenen, according to David Lennon of Newsday.
Martinez’s MVP snub
Boras said he was disappointed J.D. Martinez was not among the three finalists for the AL MVP despite hitting 43 home runs, driving in 130 runs, and helping the Red Sox win a World Series during his first year with the team.
“His leadership and impact on the team was extraordinary … I don’t know if any player in any time in my career has had a greater impact on a team,” Boras said.
His comments came one day after he scolded voters during an appearance on MLB Network Radio for not choosing Martinez among the finalists, according to NBC Sports Boston.
“Every voter should be brought publicly into a forum and be taken to task for their negligence … There’s a complete breach of understanding of the value of a player.”