But Boras would have as much influence on a franchise as any agent since Mark (“The Power of Nice”) Shapiro represented the large majority of the best Orioles players during their two-pennant 1977-83 run. Team Scott is an elegant possibility, and might have results just as excellent; but Boras could also loom over a club with an owner then almost 90, an unproven heir and a general manager whose contract ends after 2015.
Picture this lineup — with Boras’s clients in bold. If every Nat played to current “projections,” this actually would be the most likely 2014 team.
1. Brian Goodwin, a first-round draft pick last year, or
, a free agent next winter who has gold gloves and base-stealing titles, is in center field. Both are left-handed-hitting speedsters and natural leadoff men.
2. Anthony Rendon, paid $7.2 million to sign, takes over third base from Zimmerman. A stat clone of Lance Berkman in college at Rice, Rendon is projected as a .300 hitter, Gold Glove candidate and good No. 2 hitter early in his career.
, like Ruth-Gehrig, or, okay, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, are back-to-back tape-measure lefty sluggers to anchor the order. Fielder, comfortable at cleanup, protects young Harper.
, then age 35, moves to left field so Harper can play right field, where his value as a free agent someday will be greater.
moves to shortstop, his natural position, improving the team’s defensive reliability and making him a more valuable (read: expensive) player.
7. Wilson Ramos, catcher, may feel a little lonely in the locker room, but maybe he can find a Nat-appropriate agent.
8. A Boras-client second baseman to be named later, perhaps taken with the Nats’ top choice in this year’s draft, because the team’s top three picks last year were all Boras clients. Or Ian Desmond could stay at shortstop and Espinosa at second.
. You’ve heard of him.
By 2014, or before, the Nats also assume that 6-foot-9 Alex Meyer, a right-handed pitcher who has touched 100 mph, will either be in their starting rotation — with Jordan Zimmerman, Gio Gonzalez and perhaps lefty Matt Purke, or the back of the bullpen.
You can bet Boras is aware of these possibilities. He’s far-sighted and, as he should, always pursues the interests of his clients and himself. At times, his strategic thinking makes it seem he lives in a baseball world of checkers while his first move is P-K4. The enormous contracts he negotiates can help build franchises into winners, like the recent Detroit Tigers, or hamstring them, as Alex Rodriguez’s $250 million deal in Texas weighed down ex-owner Tom Hicks’s Rangers for years. It often takes years to figure out which it is.