Agent Scott Boras spoke to the media at the Winter Meetings yesterday and was asked if the Orioles had reached out about extension talks with his clients Gunnar Henderson and Jackson Holliday. “Only once or twice a day,” Boras quipped, with Andy Kostka of The Baltimore Banner among those who passed his comments along. “Those kinds of things, obviously we listen, and Mike [Elias] and I talk a lot. Obviously, our job is to filter those phone calls and relay them to the player, and kind of discuss it and see if it’s something that the player himself is interested in.”
Boras and his clients have a reputation of generally being averse to extensions, though that’s not to say they never happen. MLBTR’s Contract Tracker shows that Boras has negotiated extensions for clients such as Xander Bogaerts, Stephen Strasburg, Lance McCullers Jr. and more.
Both Henderson and Holliday are fairly inexperienced but extensions for players at this stage of their careers are becoming more common. Henderson has 184 games under his belt, but has thrived in those, winning American League Rookie of the Year here in 2023. Holliday has yet to make his major league debut but is the consensus top prospect in the sport.
In recent years, players like Luis Robert Jr. and Eloy Jiménez have received notable extensions prior to even making it to the big leagues. Jackson Chourio, who currently falls just behind Holliday on those prospect lists, recently set a new benchmark for players with zero service time. He and the Brewers agreed to an eight-year, $82MM extension with performance bonuses and a pair of club options. There have also been notable deals given to players with a small amount of major league experience, with each of Corbin Carroll, Wander Franco and Julio Rodríguez getting nine-figure guarantees.
For the Orioles, they would have to change strategy to get a deal done with either player. Since Mike Elias was hired as general manager in November of 2018, the largest guarantee they have given to anyone is the one-year, $13MM deal they gave to Craig Kimbrel this week. The only extensions they have signed were two-year deals for John Means and Félix Bautista. In both cases, the player was rehabbing Tommy John surgery and was already under club control for the two seasons covered by the contract.
To be fair, the O’s have been aggressively rebuilding for much of the Elias tenure, so big spending wasn’t warranted. But they won 83 games in 2022 and still kept this…