"For the next two or three years, he's probably going to be an elite on-base guy," an American League executive said recently during the winter meetings in Florida. "He's a plus makeup guy. He'll give you some power and probably play average defense on the corners. He's a very good hitter, but he's 31 next year. If you sign him to a seven-year deal, you know you'll be looking at a significantly declining skill set over the last three to four years of the deal."
Boras might have lost Cano to Jay Z and the Creative Artists Agency earlier this year, but he has found homes for Ellsbury and Choo for a total payout of $283 million. Now he'll most likely have to wait until after the new year to find spots for Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew.
During the winter meetings, Boras elicited a few smirks when he referred to Choo as a "revered" player and ratcheted up the compliments from there. As the Choo watch dragged on this week, Boras insisted that a lot of teams were keeping tabs on the outfielder and that it wasn't simply a case of Texas or bust.
"Shin-Soo Choo is a good fit for rebuilding teams and 'now' teams," Boras said. "He's a teacher and a great example for both the younger players and the veterans. He's like frosting. He fills a lot of cakes."
Like Cano, Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Mike Napoli, Curtis Granderson and Jhonny Peralta, Choo is now gainfully employed. It will make for a boring January on the free-agent hitter market, but Choo and Daniels can live with that scenario. Even in the hard-core world of baseball contract negotiations, there are some things -- like peace of mind -- that money just can't buy.