Scott Boras holds court at MLB GM Meetings, says 2022 free agency is 'carnivore's market'




LAS VEGAS - It's the annual rite of passage at the annual Major League Baseball General Manager Meetings.

You have agents spread out throughout the hotel lobby seeking out GMs, trying to gauge or sell interest for their clients. Reporters camp out in different locations of the hotel, seeking whatever nuggets of information they can uncover from GMs.

And agent Scott Boras holds court a day before the meetings break with a gathering of about 100 media members.

Boras, who spoke for 45 minutes Wednesday, talked about everything from the amateur draft, to interest in his clients, while dropping plenty of metaphors for comic relief.

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What is the value of free agent shortstop Carlos Correa? "He's the Dior of defense, the Hermes of hitting, the Louis V of leadership, and Prada of the season. It's a one-stop shop for a championship designer.''

Boras was just getting started, with plenty of punchlines for his free agent clients:

- On starter Taijuan Walker: "Taijuan is one of the few players under 30 and he's had multiple 150 inning pitched seasons, so essentially Taijuan is on an island. The only question is who is willing to Tai-pei.''

- On center fielder Brandon Nimmo: "There are a lot of teams in the waters of free agency. Whoever Pixar guy will be the lucky one in Finding Nimmo.''

- On shortstop Xander Bogaerts: "His uncle Humphrey left him a message in his memoirs: 'There's going to be a lot of teams looking at you kid.' "

Scott Boras represents some of MLB
Scott Boras represents some of MLB's top free agents.  

- More on Bogaerts: "This is the first time teams have had the opportunity to sign the X-Man. They are finding it a Marvelous opportunity. ... It kind of X marks the spot on the map to the treasures of Sierra Madre.''

-On starter Carlos Rodon: "The thinking team chose him. He's sculpted a masterpiece.''

- On this year's free agent class: "The free agent market is very much a carnivore's market. The menu features filet mignon and wagyu, and less hamburger and vegan.''

- Free agent starter Sean Manaea: "Man, I, uh, need a pitcher like that.''

-Matthew Boyd: "It's simply una-Boyd-able that I need a pitcher like that.''

- Jurickson Profar: "Profar, so good.''

- Josh Bell: He just has all of the bells and whistles.''

- Michael Conforto: "It's the return of the Mike. He's the hit of free agency.''

And so it went, with Boras looking down several times to his sheets of notes for quips, took time to be serious too.

He believes the San Diego Padres will engage in negotiations this winter in an attempt to sign All-Star outfielder Juan Soto to a contract extension after acquiring him in July. Soto turned down a 15-year, $440 million deal from the Washington Nationals before he was traded.

"I don't think it's a question of if they'll do that, Boras said. "I think the question is how they do that. I'm sure before they traded for him, they had a lot of that in mind.''

Soto, 24, still has two more years before he's eligible for free agency.

"The great thing is he had time to acclimate himself there,'' Boras said. "It's not exactly a difficult market to adjust to. I think he enjoyed his time there, and has certainly enjoyed the competitiveness of the team, being in the playoffs.''

Boras, who represents Correa and Bogaerts, also said that that no team has expressed a desire to have either play  play a different position for a year before their shortstop vacancy opens. He was referring mostly to the San Francisco Giants, who have veteran Brandon Crawford for one more year at shortstop.

He also blasted MLB for implementing a pitch clock, believing it will have serious repercussions during the postseason.

"They need to reflect,'' Boras said. "They need more time. It's a different scenario than the regular season. We do not want their performances rushed. ... You don't want these men have a completely different emotional environment where the settings mean so much more.''

He chastised the league for delaying the amateur draft by five weeks to be in conjunction with the All-Star Game, believing it causes injuries and prevents scouts from properly evaluating the next year's class.

"This has eroded the evaluation system,'' Boras said, "because scouting professionals do not have the ability to evaluate the next draft market for the summer. They are precluded from attending the normal events they used to attend to get familiarity with both character and performance evaluations.

"We're releasing better players than the players that are drafted merely because of the drafting cycle.''

He also took a shot at teams for relying too heavily on analytics.

"They are certainly a way of improving players,'' Boras said, "but the difference is the creators of the analytics information are not effectively implementing and executing the information to the player. We're constantly seeing players talk about the fact that focus on the standards given by the team are different than what the player utilized to arrive into the major leagues.''

Boras talked informally after the press conference, and then needed to get going. He has teams to meet. Clients to call. Owners to persuade.

And, yes, three weeks to formulate more material for his next stand-up routine for the media at the Baseball Winter Meetings beginning Dec. 4 in San Diego.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB free agency a 'carnivore's market' Scott Boras says at GM Meetings

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