Just got done with the annual Scott Boras scrum out in the hallway, trying not to trip over the dozens of media members, camera toters and gawkers staring at his hotel hallway traveling circus. And while the majority of folks wanted to know all about Matt Holliday and Johnny Damon, we fought through the crowd, managed to add some Seattle flavor to the event and got a handful of questions in about Adrian Beltre and the Mariners.
Watch the video above and you’ll hear Boras talking about Beltre during the final minute of the clip.
Boras said in this clip that roughly a half-dozen teams, including the Mariners, have expressed interest in Beltre.
“I think teams are looking for offense, are looking for complete players,” he said. “I think in infield play that, there are certain third basemen that certain clubs want to move or transfer from another position and that creates opportunities for Adrian.”
One of those clubs could be the Boston Red Sox, who are exploring possible alternatives to Mike Lowell at third base. The San Francisco Giants are also thinking of moving third baseman Pablo Sandoval to first base if they can land a player like Beltre. The Angels have Brandon Wood ready to play third, but could go after Beltre as the more veteran replacement for departed free agent Chone Figgins.
Boras was asked about Beltre’s ability to hit in a stadium like AT&T Park in San Francisco, not exactly a haven for right handed power hitters. At that point, Boras went into a long recitation of Beltre’s road stats and his ability to generate big numbers away from home. He went on to note that Beltre didn’t always have the greatest offensive stats in Seattle, but still produced overall.
At that point, the natural follow up question was what the attraction would be for Beltre to return to Seattle, given that the home ballpark did drag his numbers down.
“Well, I’ll be honest with you, he likes Seattle,” Boras said. “He’s kind of a team player. The manager, the new general manager and the ownership there has been a very appealing process for him. He knows it affects his numbers, but on the other hand, he and Seattle have a very good relationship and we continue to talk.”
How often have he and GM Jack Zduriencik spoken?
“Jack and I have been talking throughout, ever since (the free agency period),” he said. “Or actually, even at…the end of the season.”
Later, as Boras was hustling off towards the escalators, the surrounding throng in-tow, I got in a question about whether the Mariners had become, in his estimation, more aggressive or less so in their pursuit of Beltre and getting a deal wrapped up since the signing of Figgins. In other words, are they in a hurry to resolve this and give Figgins a position to play one way or the other?
Or, do they seem prepared to ride this out and see where the market leads, knowing they’ve got a third baseman in-hand if needed? Boras seems to think the M’s aren’t in too big a hurry, given that Figgins can play third, second or the outfield.
“I think the best thing for Jack,” Boras said of Zduriencik, “is that he knows he’s got three places he can play him.”