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Red Sox Interested In Every Free Agent
Is this intentionally deceptive?

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 08:45 AM

I really wasn't sure where to put this thread, so feel free to move it wherever, just charge my account.

As much as I hate the rumors, I love them too...Despite how asinine it can be, I always follow mlbtraderumors.com at this point - as I'm sure a lot of you do. The Red Sox have seemingly been tied to just about every free agent, and most players who are being dangled as trade bait in some way. I wonder if this is a smoke screen, or a way to appeal to Sox fans craving revenge for the Yankees success...

Is this media overkill in the Boston market?


Rather than list the players they have been tied to, i thought I'd list the ones they haven't been:

1.

(I know they are now saying they have no interest in Lackey, which probably means they are three minutes from signing him.)
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Posted 03 December 2009 - 08:58 AM

View PostManny, on 03 December 2009 - 08:45 AM, said:

I really wasn't sure where to put this thread, so feel free to move it wherever, just charge my account.

As much as I hate the rumors, I love them too...Despite how asinine it can be, I always follow mlbtraderumors.com at this point - as I'm sure a lot of you do. The Red Sox have seemingly been tied to just about every free agent, and most players who are being dangled as trade bait in some way. I wonder if this is a smoke screen, or a way to appeal to Sox fans craving revenge for the Yankees success...

Is this media overkill in the Boston market?


Rather than list the players they have been tied to, i thought I'd list the ones they haven't been:

1.

(I know they are now saying they have no interest in Lackey, which probably means they are three minutes from signing him.)


It's all part of the game. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the story about Pedroia moving to SS was fabricated so that the Sox didn't seem desperate for a SS if a trade possibility came up.
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Posted 03 December 2009 - 09:04 AM

View PostManny, on 03 December 2009 - 08:45 AM, said:

1. (I know they are now saying they have no interest in Lackey, which probably means they are three minutes from signing him.)


I remember reading a while back (might have been the Globe) that the Sox would be interested in Lackey if they had to trade Buchholz for a bat. Makes sense.
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Posted 03 December 2009 - 09:14 AM

I imagine that the Sox do engage in some sort of due diligence conversations with many of the free agents available, and probably all of the premier free agents on the market in any given year, even if ultimately, they are not really interested in signing that particular player. This serves several purposes: 1) It serves to disguise, to the extent possible, who they are truly interested in, much in the same vein as nearly every player on the roster hitting the waiver wire on August 1 every year, 2) it serves to provide information on the overall marketplace conditions, be it the trade market or the free agent market, assisting you in your true negotiations, 3) it serves to provide the Sox more information on what other teams are doing. More information is always better.

So I don't doubt the rumors of the Sox to be talking to just about everybody to be true. I've just become numb to all the "talking" stories and am just waiting to see the actual deals when they start to go down.
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Posted 03 December 2009 - 09:37 AM

I agree with your logic, but it seems other teams would engage in the same shenanigans to engage the same benefits. No?
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Posted 03 December 2009 - 09:59 AM

View PostManny, on 03 December 2009 - 09:37 AM, said:

I agree with your logic, but it seems other teams would engage in the same shenanigans to engage the same benefits. No?


It would really only benefit large market teams. Nobody is going to believe it if KC suddenly starts talking to Jason Bay.
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Posted 03 December 2009 - 10:05 AM

View PostBigSlick, on 03 December 2009 - 09:59 AM, said:

It would really only benefit large market teams. Nobody is going to believe it if KC suddenly starts talking to Jason Bay.

See, I disagree. If KC is perceived as a player for a big free agent, maybe a lesser one will think they are headed in the right direction and agree to go there. ?? Who the hell are you to question me - I'm omniscient, bitch.
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Posted 03 December 2009 - 10:23 AM

View PostManny, on 03 December 2009 - 09:37 AM, said:

I agree with your logic, but it seems other teams would engage in the same shenanigans to engage the same benefits. No?

Sure. I'm sure Brian Cashman does the same thing. Other front offices may not need or see the need to do this to same extent the Red Sox or Yankees do, because they are not necessarily involved in the death struggle that is Red Sox/Yankees. And certainly, when the Red Sox or Yankees are talking to agents/teams, the agent/team reaps some benefit by having another suitor for that player's services, even if they know the interest is fake.
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Posted 03 December 2009 - 11:18 AM

It always crosses my mind this time of year about just how much shady shit the agents actually do. What's to stop an agent from lying about offers that haven't come in? I can picture in my head Scott Boras talking to a team about Matt Holliday and saying "5/$85M?? The Red Sox offered 7/$126M", but that '7/126' conversation never really happened.

I would imagine that free agent dealings are very sketchy and everybody is involved; players, agents, owners, GM's, the media.
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Posted 03 December 2009 - 11:34 AM

View PostMike LansWho, on 03 December 2009 - 11:18 AM, said:

It always crosses my mind this time of year about just how much shady shit the agents actually do. What's to stop an agent from lying about offers that haven't come in? I can picture in my head Scott Boras talking to a team about Matt Holliday and saying "5/$85M?? The Red Sox offered 7/$126M", but that '7/126' conversation never really happened.

I would imagine that free agent dealings are very sketchy and everybody is involved; players, agents, owners, GM's, the media.


Might as well the player get the money instead of letting the owners hold onto it. If some team fears that player x was offered y amount and is willing to break their back to attain such a player than that's the problem of the FO, not the agent. Teams try to start off negotiations low-balling a player in hopes of getting them cheaper than what they may actually be worth. A player could be worth $100mil but teams start bidding around $50mil hoping to get him to sign >$100mil. Of course a good agent like Boras will say that player x is worth $150mil in order to get him to sign for at least his perceived value.

Of course Agents run the risk of losing credibility in negotiations and losing out on a bidder if the perceived value exceeds the teams budget. I could easily see a team like LAA or BOS sign an alternative LF to Jason Bay/Matt Holliday because their agent lies about possible contracts and the team chooses to go another course because of it. As far as credibility teams will go back to low-balling a player if they stick to their contract offers and the player remains unsigned.

Edit: Forgot about Abreu. Still, Jason Bay would be a great DH for LAA.

This post has been edited by Red Sox Fan2: 03 December 2009 - 11:36 AM

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 11:36 AM

View PostMike LansWho, on 03 December 2009 - 11:18 AM, said:

It always crosses my mind this time of year about just how much shady shit the agents actually do. What's to stop an agent from lying about offers that haven't come in? I can picture in my head Scott Boras talking to a team about Matt Holliday and saying "5/$85M?? The Red Sox offered 7/$126M", but that '7/126' conversation never really happened.

I would imagine that free agent dealings are very sketchy and everybody is involved; players, agents, owners, GM's, the media.

There is no doubt in my mind this happens. This kind of 'negotiating' happens in every sales transaction. Good agents (which are really sales people with law degrees) have to be careful about overplaying their hand. One of the primary reasons Boras is a great agent is he almost always properly reads the GMs who are vying for his players and he knows how far he can push certain teams and play one against another. The only time I can think that Boras didn’t execute to the fullest was with Matsuzaka and that may be because he had very little leverage. On the flip side, I am sure that successful GMs engage in very similar tactics.

As a bit of an aside, I know the popular sentiment is to hate Boras, but to be truthful, I respect the hell out of the guy. He is outstanding at what he does. He has a reputation of always taking his clients’ wishes into account and acts in what he believes to be the best interest of his clients. I’d hire him in a hot second if I was in a position to do so.
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Posted 03 December 2009 - 11:40 AM

I'd say he botched the Jason Varitek situation pretty badly, but aside from that he's the best in the business.
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Posted 03 December 2009 - 11:50 AM

View PostMike LansWho, on 03 December 2009 - 11:18 AM, said:

It always crosses my mind this time of year about just how much shady shit the agents actually do. What's to stop an agent from lying about offers that haven't come in? I can picture in my head Scott Boras talking to a team about Matt Holliday and saying "5/$85M?? The Red Sox offered 7/$126M", but that '7/126' conversation never really happened.

I would imagine that free agent dealings are very sketchy and everybody is involved; players, agents, owners, GM's, the media.

Right, but why even talk to the teams when the media will print any rumor, no matter how obtuse? If Boras drops a hint, you can be damned sure it will be printed, true or not.
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Posted 07 December 2009 - 08:52 AM

Also, keep in mind that even if the Red Sox have never talked to a given free agent, or even leaked fake interest in that player, it makes a ton of sense for the player's agent to try to leak rumors of interest in his client by the Red Sox/Yankees, so some of these rumors aren't being spawned by anything that is happening on the Red Sox FO's side of things. Between the players that the Red Sox have genuine interest in, want to keep in touch with just in case they have interest later, and the players that want other teams to think that the Red Sox have interest in them, I would expect that to cover just about the entire market. It's not overkill, it's just the nature of the beast. That's why it's important to not get amped up about rumors that don't indicate solid sourcing on the Boston side of things (Red Sox potential interest in a Toronto pitcher for a ton of prospects first reported by...the NY Post or Daily News? Yeah, I don't think so), because you're just setting yourself up for a letdown that way.
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Posted 07 December 2009 - 09:17 AM

View PostMike LansWho, on 03 December 2009 - 11:18 AM, said:


I would imagine that free agent dealings are very sketchy and everybody is involved; players, agents, owners, GM's, the media.


It's funny you mention it, but I saw this just last night. It's totally 3rd-hand hearsay info, so take it for what it's worth. One of my facebook friends is a friend of a rather prominent member of the Yankees press pool who posted about what a joker Brian Cashman is. This person wrote how during the winter meetings, Cash would have bogus wish lists on his desk when he entertained the media just to see which reporters would read it upside down and then print it, attributing it to yankee insiders.
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Posted 07 December 2009 - 11:16 AM

And then there was that year when he signed every single player on every single 'bogus' list.
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Posted 07 December 2009 - 02:03 PM

View PostMike LansWho, on 07 December 2009 - 11:16 AM, said:

And then there was that year when he signed every single player on every single 'bogus' list.

2008. : (

I pretty much have it in my head that anyone the Sox covet, the Yankees will take an interest in and vice versa. If someone told me the Yankees offered Scutaro an identical contract to be their utility infielder...well, you get the drift.
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Posted 07 December 2009 - 07:03 PM

According to LoHud.com, Big Slick crashed the Winter Meetings, posing as a sports writer:

"In one of the more bizarre moments I’ve seen, someone in the back of the pack asked Francona if the Red Sox would play Marco Scutaro at second and Dustin Pedroia at short. Francona responded with, “Why?” and the guy said because Pedroia might have better range. That drew a how-do-you-respond-to-that type response, and when someone from MLB asked to see the reporter’s credentials, the guy mumbled and left the room. I honestly believe it was someone who just happened to wander into the room. He called himself "Big Slick" and said he once caught a home run ball.
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