There was a common belief among Major League Baseball observers — including anxious Boston Red Sox fans — that the floodgates would open after Yoshinobu Yamamoto landed with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a 12-year, $325 million contract.

Yamamoto was considered the top starting pitcher available in MLB free agency — and perhaps the second-best player on the open market; behind new teammate Shohei Ohtani — and there was an expectation that the next names on the board would find new homes in short order, with the Japanese ace setting the bar for those still waiting to sign the dotted line.

That includes Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery, widely viewed as the top two starters remaining in a free agency class that once featured Aaron Nola (Philadelphia Phillies) and Sonny Gray (St. Louis Cardinals), as well.

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Yet, activity hasn’t quite picked up in the days since the Yamamoto news broke. Instead, we’ve reached a standstill, which actually makes sense when you consider who’s pulling the strings.

Both Snell and Montgomery are represented by Scott Boras. And those who know about the powerful agent know he’s not afraid of a staring contest.

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“The prevailing thought throughout the industry was that dominoes would fall quickly this week with Yamamoto off the board, though as one agent pointed out Wednesday, things might be stalled because Scott Boras now controls the market,” MassLive’s Chris Cotillo wrote Thursday. “Boras, who represents both Snell and Montgomery, likes to wait things out and may be keen on taking his time with the top two available arms.”

Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean the Red Sox are targeting either Snell or Montgomery, both of whom have been linked to Boston in offseason speculation as the franchise searches for impactful starting pitching. But it at least presents one possible explanation for the Red Sox not making a knee-jerk splash in wake of striking out on Yamamoto.

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It’s been a relatively quiet offseason for Boston, which is coming off back-to-back last-place finishes in the American League East, and the next couple of months could go a long way toward determining whether the Red Sox contend for a World Series title in 2024. Just don’t be surprised if the stalemate continues for a bit longer than initially anticipated.

Boras largely controls the winter at this point. And he’s historically shown a willingness to extend his winters into the spring.

Featured image via Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports Images