Long-term Deal a No-Go for CarGo -- Reviled, but never the less highly effective, super-agent Scott Boras sets the record straight on Carlos Gonzalez's contract situation. Sort of.

I grabbed the following quote from a recent Jim Armstrong blog for the Denver Post. It is from agent Scott Boras and it regards the prospect of Carlos Gonzalez signing a long-term deal with the Rockies.

“We’ve signed players before prior to free agency. We listen to clubs and offers and Carlos is very happy playing in Colorado and enjoys his teammates. And if the prospect of that is something that Carlos wants to pursue and it’s something that he thinks is economically suitable for him, we would look into it.
“I don’t know what specific path there is to take in this, but each case you look at individually. And then you listen to the team’s needs and go through it and then we try to map out a mutual situation if that’s possible.”

These comments offer hope that the Rockies can sign Carlos Gonzalez to an extended contract. Unfortunately, this may be false hope. If we have learned anything about Scott Boras, it’s that honesty is not his best virtue and he has little regard for loyalty.

Boras is a shrewd man. His advice to clients is almost always correct. He is the top agent in baseball because his players always get top dollar. As fans, we despise the super-agent. He represents our home-grown superstars and inevitably they leave for one of baseball’s more fiscally endowed franchises. He has had clients agree to long-term deals before free agency, but his track record with players of Carlos’s caliber doesn’t bode well for the Rox.

Colorado has CarGo locked up through 2014, but he becomes arbitration eligible after next season. The goal of arbitration is to determine a player’s value and make sure that he is paid accordingly. If Gonzalez has another season like 2010, he is going to make a bunch of money.

Outfielder Jayson Werth just signed a deal with the Nationals for $126M over seven years. Last year in a career season, the thirty-one-year old former Phillie hit 296./.388/.532 in 554 ABs. He belted twenty-seven homeruns and led the NL with forty-six doubles, but Werth’s durability is questionable. Early in his career he struggled with injuries, missing the 2006 season entirely. Plus, he will be thirty-eight by the time his contract expires. Werth is a very good player, but he is not in same class as Gonzalez. CarGo was awarded the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger over Werth and finished five spots higher in the MVP voting. Mr. Boras happens to be the agent for both players.

Newly minted Red Sox, Carl Crawford, just signed for 7 years/$142M. Crawford is more comparable to Gonzalez. Carl doesn’t possess CarGo’s power, but his base-stealing ability is unmatched. Crawford broke into the Bigs when he was only twenty and led the AL in stolen bases at twenty-one. He is twenty-nine and already has nine major league seasons under his belt. Last year, like CarGo, Crawford was awarded the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. But, he hit .307/.356/.495. Those numbers pale in comparison to Gonzalez’s .336/.376/.598 season.

The amount of money that has been thrown at players this offseason is ludicrous, but the Werth and Crawford contracts will serve as markers for a long-term Gonzalez deal. If the Rockies want to sign the twenty-four-year old Cargo now, it will cost them at least 10 years/$200M. Sure, Boras would listen to any offer presented by the Rox, but he is not one for hometown discounts. He knows that Carlos has leverage and he is seeing dollar signs.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to any Rockies fan. We just went through the Boras negotiation process with Matt Holliday. He turned down a 4 year/$80M offer from the Rox and forced the organization to trade him for Carlos Gonzalez. Everything is circular.

As much as everyone would love to see CarGo and Tulo retire as Rockies, the likelihood of both players doing so is slim. I hate to be a naysayer, but in all probability we have only four more seasons of Gonzalez in Colorado. Here is a recent quote given to the Post by Dick Monfort. It says it all:

“(General manager) Dan (O’Dowd) has talked to Scott, but there’s a country separation between what we’d be willing to do and he’d be willing to do.”

Click here to read more.

For now let’s just enjoy watching him play and pray that he fires Scott Boras before 2015.

Winter Meetings Update

The Rockies were not active in the Rule 5 draft today. The team still has holes in the bullpen and at backup catcher, but they would prefer to fill those spots with veterans. Plus, the Rox have three minor league catchers on the forty man roster. Michael McKenry, Jordan Pacheco, and Willin Rosario are all bright prospects with potentially big futures. Colorado attempted to sign Bengie Molina, but Molina seems intent on starting somewhere or retiring. They also pursued Ronny Paulino and the Dodger’s Russell Martin, but Paulino opted to sign with the Mets and LA’s asking price for Martin was too steep. The organization is content to stand pat on a backup catcher for now. They may be considering the possibility of breaking camp next season with McKenry or Rosario as the secondary signal caller. One thing is for certain though; Chris Iannetta is the starter.

They are exhibiting the same patient approach in securing a relief pitcher. It sounds like highly touted southpaw, Rex Brothers, might get a shot at making the club in Spring Training.

It’s great to hear that Jim Tracy’s collapse earlier this week was not serious. Glad you are doing better, Jim! Get some rest. We need you next season.

Finally, the last two big free agent dominos to fall will be Cliff Lee and Adrian Beltre. Word has it that the Yankees just added a seventh year on their offer to Lee. It’s a good bet that he winds up in New York. Like we didn’t know that already. Beltre had a resurgent last season in Boston and is another Boras client. He will get a nice payday from someone.

Tags: Adrian Beltre Bengie Molina Carl Crawford Carlos Gonzalez Chris Iannetta Cliff Lee Jayson Werth Jordan Pacheco Matt Holliday Mike McKenry Rex Brother Ronny Paulino Scott Boras Troy Tulowitzki Willin Rosario

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