Scott Boras is the agent everyone loves to hate.
Everyone except his clients, of course, because he does his job well. He gets them big money.
He also likes to spend this time of year turning florid phrases about some of those clients. You can read many of those in today’s Outside The Confines. Here are a couple more examples:
Boras on Jackie Bradley Jr.: "JBJ is like PBJ -- he's sweet and smooth and he spreads it all over and covers it well."— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) December 15, 2020
Boras, extending the vehicular metaphor to cover José Altuve’s struggles in the 60-game season: “Don’t evaluate when you’re on the frontage road. Once we’re back on the freeway, we’re gonna see the cars operate as they normally do.”— Stephanie Apstein (@stephapstein) December 15, 2020
Boras did the same thing in this Tribune article that was mostly about his most famous Cubs client, Kris Bryant. Here he talks about the Cubs’ supposed inability to have a similar payroll to previous years:
“This is in many ways with the Cubs,” said Boras, who continued his tradition of using metaphors to characterize the financial state of teams.
“There are a lot of stars there. And I guess when you have Star Wars, then who best to handle it than the Jedi (Hoyer)? So we’ll see.”
Oh, Scott. These are getting more and more tortured.
Of more importance regarding Bryant is Boras’ opinion that KB will remain a Cub next year:
“The Cubs obviously know KB very well,” Boras said during a 90-minute conference call. “And (Cubs President) Jed Hoyer knows him very well. They have great plans for him. We’ve talked to him about what his role will be in a very important role going forward in 2021.”
The article by Mark Gonzales goes on to say that Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo denied current interest in Bryant. There had been a Nats/Bryant rumor floating around last month, written up here. But it appears to have been much ado about nothing:
Rizzo told reporters later that he and his staff hadn’t conducted a “serious” discussion about Bryant in the last two seasons, adding it isn’t wise to acquire a player with only one year of team control while surrendering three or four prospects.
That alleged asking price might indicate that Hoyer could be willing to retain Bryant if the price isn’t met. The Cubs would receive a 2022 draft pick if Bryant signs a free-agent contract with another team.
That’s really the key to all of this, isn’t it. If Bryant has a “normal” season for him in 2021 — and even in a somewhat “down” season in 2019 he posted 3.7 bWAR — he’s certainly worth “three or four prospects.” But that’s not likely what other teams are going to be offering at this moment in time, when we have no idea when Spring Training will begin, nor whether we’ll have a 162-game season in 2021, nor what roster limits for said season will be, nor whether the universal DH will be used going forward.
With that much uncertainty, it really does seem likely that Boras is right and that the Cubs will hang on to Bryant. I’d previously believed that they would try to trade him before Opening Day. Not only because of Boras’ statements, but due to the uncertainty noted above and the likely lack of a good return, I now believe Kris Bryant will be a Cub on Opening Day 2021 — whenever that is.
Regarding Kris Bryant...
This poll is closed
... the Cubs will trade him before Opening Day 2021
... the Cubs will trade him around the 2021 trading deadline
... the Cubs will sign him to a contract extension
... the Cubs will let him walk after 2021 and take draft pick compensation
Something else (leave in comments)