It’s that time of year again. Baseball free agency.
We know this not because of the change in weather outside, or the date on our calendar. We know this because super-agent Scott Boras, the negotiator of some of baseball’s biggest and craziest contracts ever, is firing up his hype machine.
Boras represents a wide-range of players. His biggest client at the moment is Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper. With Harper due to hit the open market following the 2018 season, in addition to several other key clients, Boras is no doubt looking ahead to his most lucrative winter ever. In the meantime, he’s looking to do best by his clients currently searching for big deals, while apparently preparing his best sales pitches.
Among those relying on Boras this winter is free agent outfielder/designated hitter J.D. Martinez. The 30-year-old slugger signed with Boras on Nov. 1 after raising his value with a terrific second half in Arizona. After being traded from Detroit to Arizona in July, Martinez hit 29 home runs over 62 games. Those absurd numbers have now led Boras to turn the hyperbole up to previously unseen levels by anointing Martinez as baseball’s King Kong of Slug.
Scott Boras on J.D. Martinez: “High atop the MLB Empire rests the King Kong of Slug — a 50-point lead.” Boras said Martinez’s pace with DBacks would project to 70 HR and .741 SLG over 150-game season. Boras: “That’s how dominant J.D. Kong is.” @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 10, 2017
Those are real quotes, folks.
Boras and Martinez are reportedly seeking a $200 million contract this winter. That seems far-fetched for a player that seems best suited for designated hitting duties. His defensive skills are limited to say the least. He also hasn’t been a model of durability, playing in more than 123 games just once in seven seasons.
At the same time, Martinez is an offensive force. There’s no denying that. He just hit 45 homers in 119 games, so he makes his time count. But questions and concerns about his all-around game will likely keep him from his desired deal. That’s why Boras is doing everything he can to dress up Martinez as an attractive target.
In this case, it’s easy to see through Boras’ intentions. But that doesn’t mean he’ll let up. With other top free agents like Jake Arrieta, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas, this is only the beginning of the Scott Boras hype machine.
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