How can you sum up the unpredictable nature of the winter free agency game?
I always tell players that free agency is 70 percent planned, 30 percent 'we'll wait and see what happens'. The reality of it is that GMs, owners and everybody, they get involved. Last year was such a great example because no one had any idea that Pudge (Ivan Rodriguez) was going to wind up with Detroit except me and (Tigers owner) Mike Ilitch.
The truth of the matter is, I picked up the phone and called him because I knew what Mike wanted. I had listened to research of what Mike said during the season, what he planned to do. Fortunately, we put the deal together with (Tigers GM) Dave Dombrowski and it worked out. I'm not sure Dave had it planned in October - I doubt that he did.
So, any player who goes through the process understands there are different things that can arise.
How does Steve Finley's signing with the Angels impact the Carlos Beltran chase?
I had dinner with the owner of the Angels (Arte Moreno) last night, and I can assure you that very little of our conversation had anything do with outfielders. I don't know where a lot of that speculation came from, that the Angels were interested in Carlos Beltran.
They signed Vladimir Guerrero last year and also signed Garret Anderson last year, and they also signed Darin Erstad the year before that. When you're talking about a club that had two major free-agent signings in their outfield, it was kind of obvious to us that their next major signing would be a pitcher. I live in this area and watch the Angels play, and that pitching would be their priority was not a shock.
Do you see one of your players signing somewhere in the next few days?
I don't offer contracts. I always think that can happen, because we've had meetings that take things down the way. Clubs will sit down and say, 'OK, this is so important that we're going to jump to those levels.' But it's not something that's a planned affair, and frankly, I'm never the first to know because the club has to come to me.
What did you think of Jeff Kent's comment about the Dodgers winning without franchise players?
I think in this business there are good players and there are franchise players. Those are two different things. Jeff Kent is a very good player. In my opinion, and it may not be Mr. Kent's opinion, Mr. Gagne and Mr. Beltre are definitely franchise players.
Would you consider looking for a reduced one-year deal for Magglio Ordonez so that he can prove himself for next year's free agent market?
Magglio Ordonez is a player who has a meniscus tear. Anything else you heard is medically false. I say that because orthopedic surgeons will tell you he had a simple tear – that's all he had. Unfortunately, it took one exam in June and one in September to get the meniscus properly repaired.
Other than that, it's a very pedestrian element and there's nothing about Magglio Ordonez that needs to be re-proven. It's a very minor knee operation as a result of a failure to diagnose an anterior meniscus tear along with an original medial meniscus tear.
Obviously, every team that asks for his medical records will get a chance to see them and evaluate them.
What do you think about the Boston Red Sox and the Jason Varitek situation?
I don't think you spend money and don't sign Jason Varitek. I certainly believe that Jason belongs among the compensation scale of Jason Kendall, who's making $12 million, and Jorge Posada, and Pudge, who's making $10 million. You really know where Varitek belongs on that scale. We've had some proposals and still need to get to the point of the next level.
What do you think of the Detroit Tigers?
I think they may be the most improved team in the game. I think Mike Ilitch made it clear that he wants to take that team to the top. Pudge was just the start. I expect them to be aggressive.
Do you believe Carlos Beltran will sign somewhere by January 1?
I don't know. We have clubs that are really serious about Carlos, and they're really after him. They may make that decision for us.
Is Carlos coming to the winter meetings, and what is he looking for from a team?
He's not coming to the winter meetings, but he's been on a few trips with me so far. He wants an owner who'll give him the opportunity to win on a regular basis. He wants to be treated fairly the way premium players are. And he wants a place where his family can be comfortable to live.
Q&A with Scott Boras
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