09 December 2008

Boras and Sabathia

My fear is that Sabathia ( or his agent ) makes a statement soon that no, he didn't actually say he wanted to be a Dodger, that while he would welcome an offer from the Dodgers Colletti misinterpreted what he said. Such a correction by Sabathia would make Colletti and the Dodgers look foolish and be a blow to Dodger fans who like the feeling that a player wants to come to the Dodgers. No matter what Sabathia were to say in the future, I think that he does want to play for the Dodgers, perhaps more than any other team, since they are the only team that hits all his reported desires ( National League, contenders, Southern California ) but that doesn't mean he wants that known in the middle of a free agency period. I wouldn't want that kind of thing known if I was his agent.

What does Colletti have to gain from announcing that Sabathia is interested in the Dodgers? It briefly makes the fans happy, but unless he can follow through and actually sign Sabathia it's just going to make us madder in the end. Don't tease us like that, man! If you don't get Sabathia now the only excuse you have now is that you had to sign Manny instead.

Ah yes, Manny. I will admit that compared to all the others out there he is the only free agent I've ever wanted this offseason. There are grim words of warning I should heed --- he's slow, he's old, he's a DH now, he's mercurial --- but whatever. He's also Manny, and we Dodger fans have only known happiness so far with him. I don't know if Colletti ( or McCourt ) wants Manny back too, but if he does, then I think Manny and Boras were the target audience for Colletti's boast about Sabathia's desire for the LA blue. Colletti's statement was a way to float the threat of the Dodgers signing Sabathia and leaving Manny without perhaps his most lucrative landing spot without having to actually make an offer to Sabathia.

According to Jayson Stark, Scott Boras has requested a meeting with the Dodgers. Boras may have reasons of his own unrelated to anything Colletti has said, but the timing is suggestive. If Boras really has found no other serious bidders for Manny then he may want to lock in the Dodgers before that option disappears. If there are other clubs interested at the right price then Boras will still want to maintain the appearance that the Dodger are heavily involved and must be bid against.

Scott Boras may be a snake but like any other agent he's very simple to deal with if you can deal from a position of strength. You just make your offer and ignore everything he says after you've made your offer except for the words "Yes" and "No". You ignore what he says about other teams bidding. You ignore what he says about how exceptionally valuable the player is. When Colletti meets with Boras this is all he has to say: "I have room in my budget for one big free agent. It's either Manny or Sabathia. This is our offer for Manny. You can either take it or we go to Sabathia instead. Let me know by noon tomorrow what your answer is."

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