It’s not that he sounds particularly slick or, y’know, full of shit, but Matt Sosnick sure sounds like an agent. Smart, self-assured, open, and willing to just keep on talking, Sosnick seems to me like a pretty terrific radio guest, but when he was last on Toronto radio– in the immediate wake of The Trade– he unintentionally made some waves, after some observers *COUGH* Gregg Zaun *COUGH* tried to read way too deeply into a comment he made about Alex Anthopoulos possibly flipping some of the pieces he’d acquired from the Miami Marlins.
Specifically, he said this:
“I feel like there has to be another piece to this trade. I’ve got to imagine that the players that Alex acquired have to be in play– it’s a lot of money he took on in salary in one shot. And there are so many teams that are interested in Josh Johnson that if the Yankees or Texas or some of these teams looking for a frontline starter wanted to give up a tonne, it would seem like it would be against the way that Alex normally does business to not listen and make a trade if he could acquire a bunch of top prospects for one of the players in this deal.”
When I posted this at the time, I added that “importantly, it should be noted that, despite this flourish of analysis from Sosnick– and that’s really how it came off to my ears, not as any kind of angling– his client isn’t hoping like hell to get moved again, or anything. In fact, he’s happy with what happened.”
Unfortunately (read: unsurprisingly) that wasn’t enough to stop the notion that Johnson might be edging his way out of town, and despite the pitcher saying he’s excited to be here in multiple interviews since, Sosnick still went to the trouble of clarifying during his appearances on Prime Time Sports this evening.
As was obvious from the get-go, Sosnick explained that he was simply spitballing that ”maybe Josh would end up getting moved for something else, but I certainly wasn’t helping or requesting him getting traded.”
Not only that, but Sosnick loves Canada– some of his best friends are Canadian!
It sounds like a joke, but it’s actually true– he explained that his business partner is from Oakville, and that he and his wife “vacation in Canada a couple times a year. We love the country, I have relatives in Toronto,” he explains, and because he’s relayed some of his experiences to his client, the Johnsons are “really excited about spending time there” too– which they’ll head up to do for the first time on Christmas Day, apparently.
I mean, sure, what else is he going to say? But we have a bit of a complex about such things around here, and it was awful nice of him to soothe it. Plus, he says more!
“It seems to me like Toronto has the best team in the American League, if everyone stays healthy, and I think the Cabrera signing was the exclamation point on the fact that the time to stand pat was over,” he said, distancing himself further from the notion that he thinks some of the players may get flipped. “I think it’s a brilliant move,” he explained, referring to the trade, which he felt was akin to simply going out and signing all of these guys as free agents.
“No one realizes how much players end up impacting players coming to other cities,” he said, suggesting that “if the team is winning and the fans are coming out and the players enjoy their experience” the desire of players to be here is going to snowball, especially now that Anthopoulos– who Sosnick says “is by far the most aggressive GM in the game, as far as exploring deals”– has brought in players with years left on their deals, allowing them time to fall in love with what he calls “one of the best cities in the world.”
Little ol’ us? Really? Flattery will get you everywhere, my friend.
Beyond the expected flattery, though, Sosnick did reiterate a couple of interesting tidbits that mostly came up in the first interview, suggesting that he and his client are open to a contract extension with the Jays, provided they could find a way to even up the risk.
“I talk to him all the time,” he said of Alex Anthopoulos, forcing me to quickly scour the agency database at MLBTR, hoping to see some juicy free agent names that the two may also be chatting about– there weren’t any. ”We haven’t talked about a contract extension” though, he explained, also noting that “he hasn’t committed anything to me, and I certainly haven’t committed anything to him,” but “if there was a deal there that was fair for Josh, that made sense for the team” they’re certainly not going to insist on hitting the market– at least not publicly.
That said, he made sure to be clear that he and his client “understand that if Josh has a good year, he’s probably going to be the top free agent next year.”
In other words, he’s not an idiot. Meaning… how much of any of what he said, genuine as it sounded, can you really take seriously?
And I am noticing in that agency database that a pair of his biggest clients, Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit, have signed deals with the Minnesota Twins in the last two seasons– which is exactly where Johnson told Brady and Lang this morning that he’s most excited to pitch, now that he’s an American Leaguer, seeing as he was born there are fondly remembers as a child the World Series years of ’87 and ’91 for the now pitching-desperate club. Dun dun dunn…
Image via the San Francisco Chronicle.