BOCA RATON, Fla. – Scott Boras isn’t sure if Matt Wieters will accept his qualifying offer from the Orioles.
During Boras’ wide-ranging press briefing at the General Managers meetings, the uber-agent denounced the concept of the qualifying offer, as he has done in the past.
“I think the qualifying offer represents something that is really wrong with baseball,” Boras said.
But, Boras hasn’t explicitly ruled out Wieters taking the $15.8 million offer. Wieters must decide by 5 p.m. on Friday whether to take it.
“Matt and I are going to be talking on Friday because I have to tell him about what went on at these meetings, so he hasn’t made any decisions yet,” Boras said.
Boras represents Wieters, Wei-Yin Chen and Chris Davis, three of the highest profile free agents.
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He expects the market for Davis to be robust.
“When you look at the power in the game, you’ve got a guy that’s averaged 40 home runs and 110 RBIs three years in a row. There’s only really been two players in the last 15 years—he and A-Rod that have met that criteria,” Boras said.
Boras expects the Orioles to seriously bid on retaining him.
“I think Chris’ performance level there has certainly raised an interest level with the ownership,” Boras said.
“It’s a rare opportunity for a club to get a middle of the bat lineup with power. The thing that makes CD so interesting is that he can play multiple positions. He can play left. He can play right. He can play first base, and you usually don’t find sluggers that are so versatile and so athletic.
“He really in my mind is the top outfield candidate in this free agent market as well as the top infield candidate in this market for versatility and what a manager wants to do with his club because if you have a prospect coming at first base you can use now, flip him in the outfield. You have a prospect coming in the outfield, and put him back at first base. He really provides a lot of flexibility and rare power for teams,” Boras said.
Chen and Davis have also been extended qualifying offers, and they certainly will reject them.
In an attempt to regulate his work load as well as protect him from facing two teams—Boston and Toronto—he had little success against, Chen was briefly optioned to Frederick in June.
The left-hander wasn’t pleased with the assignment and tweeted his displeasure after speaking with Boras.
“It’s not really whether I’m upset. I’m voicing the opinion of a veteran pitcher and many other pitchers,” Boras said. “Where you have the ability to manipulate rosters for a 10-day period at the expense of disruption of your No. 1 starter’s approach and performance,” Boras said.
“I would obviously take the side that you don’t do that and that the benefit is absolutely outweighed by the detriment, and that’s certainly how Wei-Yin still feels.”
Boras made no prediction on Chen’s market.