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Scott Boras is “trying to engage Mets ownership” on Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales

Dec 22, 2013, 12:08 PM EDT

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick explains the situation over a series of tweets …

Drew has struggled to attract a healthy, active market this winter because signing him requires the forfeiture of a top draft pick. And the same goes for Morales. But the nice thing for Drew is that most major league teams could use an upgrade shortstop. Morales, a poor defender at first base who profiles much better as a designated hitter, will likely have a much tougher time finding a landing spot. Call him this year’s Kyle Lohse.

  1. slaugin - Dec 22, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Mets would only lose their 3rd pick

    • ltpm3 - Dec 22, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      So all their earlier pics are gone already?

      • Kevin S. - Dec 22, 2013 at 5:43 PM

        First-round pick is protected, second-round pick was lost with the Granderson signing.

  2. sincitybonobo - Dec 22, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    I was surprised Morales turned down the qualifying offer. He can help the M’s and, being one of the slowest runners in baseball, does not project favorably to an NL team. A return to Seattle seems to make the most sense, if they have room in next year’s budget.

    The Mariners’ team OPS was .695 in 2013. Plus, as of right now, Cano doesn’t have much protection.

    I understand why most players are predisposed toward turning down qualifying offers, but Morales didn’t appear to be a natural fit for any team. In the minority of cases, players are actually risking losing money by turning down QA’s.

    Drew turning down a QA probably didn’t concern the Sox too much, with Bogaerts ready to step in for the league minimum. But, don’t forget, Maddux surprised the Braves front office later in his career by accepting arbitration from ATL in 2003 when the front office assumed his declining to do so would be a formality.

    • Kevin S. - Dec 22, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      Robinson Cano had an over-50 beer league team around him last year and hit .314/.383/.516. Can we put to bed the protection myth already?

      • sincitybonobo - Dec 22, 2013 at 9:01 PM

        I don’t think Miggy minded Prince Fielder batting directly behind him during the past two seasons. Despite a home park that is cavernous in some parts, he had career highs in HR and RBI with Prince looming on deck. Last year, he did it on one leg for a couple months.

        With first base open and RISP, Cano is going to get fewer pitches to hit in hitters counts if the guy in the on deck circle has a career OPS close to the M’s .695 clip in 2013. Right now, Seager or Hart would be the closest thing they have to protect Cano. Morales can help the team.

        This $14+mil is derived from the average of the game’s top 125 salaries. Does Morales really think he’s in the top 15% of all players in MLB. I know it’s only for one year, but given his limited mobility and his vulnerability to a super-shifted infield defense, he could have done worse than $14 mil. He just might.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 22, 2013 at 10:49 PM

        Last year with Prince Fielder behind him, Miguel Cabrera was IBBed 16 times in 107 PA in the situation you described (1B open, RISP). Cano was IBBed 14 times in 101 PA of that situation with drek behind him. Real lineup protection there. Now that we’ve traded anecdotes, here’s some actual evidence that you’re wrong:

        http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/index.php/2004/09/the-protection-externality-it-doesnt-exist/
        http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/what-would-lineup-protection-look-like/
        http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7970598/andrew-mccutchen-another-example-why-lineup-protection-myth-mlb
        http://fpbaseballoutsider.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-myth-of-lineup-protection.html

      • sincitybonobo - Dec 23, 2013 at 12:00 AM

        If IBB accounted for every time a guy got pitched around, your argument would be airtight. It doesn’t. A batter might expand the zone on a 2-1 pitch if he’s expected he’s being pitched around and he – correctly- lacks confidence in the next hitter. Especially if said hitter is attempting to drive in the tying or winning run with 2 out in the 8th or 9th inning. Your reliance on IBB is a serious blind spot in your argument.

        Especially last season, would you give Cano much to hit in a 2-1 or 3-1 count with RISP with Lyle Overbay or Vernon Wells on deck?

        Do you really think Miggy is ambivalent as to who is in the on-deck circle when he’s hitting? That is to say Delmon Young, Brennan Boesch, Andy Dirks would be just fine, as opposed to Prince Fielder? Even if he saw a statistically consistent percentage of fastballs, sliders, etc. with different protection behind him, quality big league pitchers will hope he expands the zone with a weaker hitter on-deck and pitch him accordingly- especially with RISP and first base open.

        Again, Cabrera’s two best seasons of his career occurred when Prince was hitting behind him. Neither your words nor your links refuted this fact.

      • apforman1 - Dec 23, 2013 at 11:24 AM

        “Again, Cabrera’s two best seasons of his career occurred when Prince was hitting behind him. Neither your words nor your links refuted this fact.”

        In reality, Miguel Cabrera OPS by year:

        2010: 1.042
        2011: 1.033
        2012: .999
        2013: 1.078

        What are these facts you speak of? Cabrera had better seasons in 2010 and 2011 at the plate without Fielder “protecting” him.

    • paperlions - Dec 23, 2013 at 9:34 AM

      Rather than continue to be wrong, you might want to follow the links Kevin provided. Many people have studied lineup protection in detail. It doesn’t exist.

  3. 4d3fect - Dec 22, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    “Engage”, heh, so that’s the term Boras is telling Crasnick to use instead of “sell”?

  4. Old Gator - Dec 22, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    I wonder how Heyman feels about this. Betrayed, jilted, pregnant, out on the street….

  5. cackalackyank - Dec 22, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Given what the Mets have already spent, I think this was put out there as a way to remind other teams that these guys are still available.

  6. ltpm3 - Dec 22, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Should use the term “play” better than engage. Boras likes to play owners for their money, some owners are a lot smarter than others. Boras owns the Yankee owners/GM!!!

  7. pastabelly - Dec 22, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    This is Boras worst nightmare. He’ll earn his commission if he can find homes for these two guys anywhere close to the qualifying offers. Certainly won’t get AAV for either near 14.1.

    • sincitybonobo - Dec 22, 2013 at 9:00 PM

      If he’s calling the Mets, he must be desperate.

      I went to an Angels game in 2012 against Toronto. Lawrie was at 3B. He shifted to about 60 feet in front of Bautista in RF when Morales came to the plate. Sure enough, he threw out Morales comfortably after fielding a two-hopper.

      This is the guy turning down $14.1 mil?

  8. sincitybonobo - Dec 22, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    I don’t think Miggy minded Prince Fielder batting directly behind him during the past two seasons. Despite a home park that is cavernous in some parts, he had career highs in HR and RBI with Prince looming on deck. Last year, he did it on one leg for a couple months.

    With first base open and RISP, Cano is going to get fewer pitches to hit in hitters counts if the guy in the on deck circle has a career OPS close to the M’s .695 clip in 2013. Right now, Seager or Hart would be the closest thing they have to protect Cano. Morales can help the team.

    This $14+mil is derived from the average of the game’s top 125 salaries. Does Morales really think he’s in the top 15% of all players in MLB. I know it’s only for one year, but given his limited mobility and his vulnerability to a super-shifted infield defense, he could have done worse than $14 mil. He just might.

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