Monday, April 22, 2024

How The Boras Guys Are Doing


The story so far: this offseason, it took what seemed like forever for a ton of Scott Boras clients to find places to sign. The negotiating that Boras was doing, asking for huge contracts and not coming down, despite teams being more realistic about how much they wanted to spend, and for how long, on these guys, annoyed the hell out of the whole league. It got to the point where, after he signed, Jordan Montgomery went with a different agent. I think that teams, and players will be less prone to work with Boras going forward, though considering that he represents one of the biggest free agents of the 2025 offseason...hold onto your hats, folks.

But I thought it'd be interesting to look at those main 5 guys that Boras held til the last month of the offseason, and see how they're doing, if the shorter spring training period has affected their gameplay, if teams were right in holding out. 

Matt Chapman: The deal that Chapman signed with the Giants is a 1 year deal worth 20 million, with mutual options for the next three years, and judging by how he's been doing so far, I hope for the Giants' sake that Chapman enjoys his return to the Bay Area. Defensively, Chapman's still one of the best third baseman in the bigs, and he's fit in well with this infield. He's only hitting .224 with 12 RBIs and 4 homers, but it's still decent production. I think that Chapman's more likely to shoot for 25 homers these days than 35, and I think the Giants are aware of that; seeing that they have Jorge Soler and Michael Conforto, they're not 100% relying on Chapman for power. I do think that, of the Boras guys, Chapman has had the least amount of learning curve to the new location, though the hope is that his hitting numbers will heat up soon enough.

Blake Snell: Of all of these guys, I think this is the case where I get why the teams didn't completely go all in. Blake Snell is an excellent pitcher, and a Cy Young winner, but he's never been excellent multiple seasons in a row. He needs his comedown periods, and I think everyone's aware of it. Snell got 1 year 32 million from the Giants, with an option for Snell if he wants to stick around for 2025. Truthfully, it's because they don't know if Snell's 2024 will be a disappointment or not, and want to hedge their bets. And far, it's looking like the Giants made the correct move. Blake Snell, through 3 starts, has an 11.57 ERA, an 0-3 record and a 1.971 WHIP. He's struck out 12 batters, so he can still do that, but people are hitting him more frequently than they did last season. Now, the case could be made that this wouldn't be happening if he had a full spring with the Giants to iron out the kinks, but...after last season, there's a chance he overexerted himself and needs a longer cooldown period, or perhaps another damned surgery. He could come back around, he could just need a few starts to adjust, but this isn't looking great.

Cody Bellinger: It was pretty clear that Bellinger was gonna end up back with the Cubs, it was just a matter of how long he'd be down for. Because of Boras' prattling they only got 1 year guaranteed with a couple options, for 30 million, and while it does prevent against Bellinger's 2023 being a fluke, it also makes this process repeat if Bellinger's 2024 goes well. So far, though, he's been purely alright, with 4 homers, 14 RBIs and a 0.3 WAR. Basically, he needs to have a few more really strong hitting weeks and he'll be 'back' in a sense. I'm not thinking he's reverted to how he was in his last few years in LA, at least not yet, but Bellinger is the kind of guy that could heat up out of nowhere. 

Jordan Montgomery: Gumby was the longest holdout, signing near the very end of Spring Training, and this saga ending in a 1-year, 25 million dollar deal with Arizona does explain why he eventually sought out different representation. Because of the late signing, he began the season in extended camp, made some minor league starts, and didn't make it up to the D-Backs til a few days ago. Thankfully, his first start for the team seemed to be indicative of his 2023 success, as he went 6 innings with a 1.50 ERA, allowing only 1 earned run and getting the win. Funnily enough, said debut was in a game against Blake Snell, who did not do as well. I'm thinking Montgomery got enough done in the minors to let the adjustment not completely psych him out, and he should be good going forward.

J.D. Martinez: The only one of the Boras guys that has yet to play this year, J.D. Martinez signed a minuscule by comparison 1 year, 12 million dollar deal with the Mets, went through a similar extended camp period to Montgomery, and because of some injury setbacks, has remained in Port St. Lucie. The Mets announced yesterday that they're hoping Martinez will be up with the club by the end of the week, and seeing as the injury to Francisco Alvarez has left them really needing a DH, it could come at a great time for the team. Time will tell if Martinez is worth his weight, and at 36, he hopefully has enough left to calm Mets fan concerns.

We'll see if these early periods have any effect on the full seasons of this group. It's looking good for Chapman and Montgomery at the moment, but you never know how things will fully develop.

Coming Tonight: At worst, he's still a gold-glove infielder. We're beginning to see him at his best. 

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