May 20, 2014

Boo-hoo for Scott Boras and Stephen Drew

Looks like superagent Scott Boras and client Stephen Drew, on one side, and the Boston Red Sox, on the other, have mutually imploded.

Boston, frustrated by the play of Will Middlebrooks, has resigned Drew for a prorated percentage of the $14.1 million qualifying offer it gave him as a free agent.

Middlebrooks is below the "Mendoza Line," named after baseballer Mario Mendoza of hitting infamy, but above the Kozma Line, named for Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma of sabermetric hitting infamy.

I assume that, since Drew is the new kid on the block, he replaces Middlebrooks at third rather than John Farrell moving Xander Bogaerts over from short. Since Middlebrooks is headed to the DL, that's obvious for the short term. But, I assume it stays that way after he comes back.

It's also interesting that Boston decided not to go with Brock Holt as a stopgap during Middlebrooks' injury, or for the longer term. It makes one wonder if Middlebrooks won't be staying in AAA down at Pawtucket even after his rehab is done.

This does have implications outside of Boston in an AL East that so far has been an example of craptacularness.

The Yankees lead, but with CC Sabathia now on the DL, that ain't lasting. No matter how good a manager Joe Girardi is. And, they have nothing to trade with. If Carlos Beltran is also racked up for an extended period of time, forget it.

Tampa? Could increase the pressure to trade David Price, good overall but enigmatic this year with new-found gopherballitis.

Orioles? Color me meh, and Nelson Cruz will come back to earth.

Don't sleep on Toronto, if it can rehab its bullpen.

So, this helps Boston out, but it is nowhere near a "driver's seat" move.

Anyway, back to the world of Scott Boras below the fold.

Boras will probably spin this as a "win" via his trusty mouthpiece, John Heyman, but it's not.

But, if Middlebrooks weren't going on the DL, the Sox might just have decided to keep toughing it out, platooning Holt and Middlebrooks, if nothing else. Let's not forget that Drew had a bad 2012 overall and came to Boston in 2013 on a one-year contract.

Meanwhile, Kendrys Morales still sits. And, in the next week or so, we'll get to see just how much Boras' "baseball academy" actually did to keep Drew from getting rusty.

As for the last person before Drew to go off the QO leftovers list? If the Braves hadn't picked up Ervin Santana, somebody else would have in this year of Tommy John surgery implosions. So please, Heyman, Boras, or anybody affiliated, don't poor-mouth the QO system.

I'll be interested in how Boston handles Drew this offseason. Since he won't have been there a full year, the QO won't be in play. Depending in part on how he does, the team might lowball him. 

So, in short, the QO works reasonably well. Not perfectly, but reasonably well. A lot better than Scott Boras would claim.

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