What will keep Kris Bryant from starting the season in the Major Leagues? It could be more a question of who will keep him from starting the season in the Major’s. The who I’m thinking isn’t Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Joe Maddon, or even Bryant himself – it’s Scott Boras. For those who do not know – Scott Boras is Bryant’s agent. Now Boras isn’t just any agent – he is THE agent. He is the owner and the president of The Boras Agency – his baseball-only sports agency that offers only the best accommodations to its clients.
When you sign on with Boras – you have access to all of his resources. Those resources include trainers, sports psychologists, a team of scouts, nutritionists, and all other sorts of professionals to help any aspect of the game – mental and physical. His agency is so good that Forbes Magazine named The Boras Agency the most valuable baseball agency of 2014. That is quite the accolade for the company.
I’m not saying that Bryant being with Boras is a bad thing. It makes me curious if Epstein and Hoyer are worried about Bryant testing the free agency pool when his time comes. My reason for saying that is because Boras has a reputation for wanting his clients to go into free agency. It’s not a bad thing if you’re a client of his but it’s a bad thing for the team that wants to keep their player. Some teams are scared off by him and his agency because of their reputation to have their players go into free agency instead of seeking to resign with their current team. When this happens the team is stuck with the predicament of keeping the player and risk losing them in the off-season or they can trade them away so they get at least something in return.
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The super-agent did say that he does allow his client’s to go wherever they want. In a radio interview conducted by Barry Rozner of 670 the Score – Boras responded to a comment that was made about advising his clients to seek free agency. “Whoever wrote that, I’ve heard it a lot, it’s just factually incorrect”, said Boras. “I’ve had a number of players who have signed long-term contracts with teams prior to free agency. You know, I did it with the Atlanta Braves and Greg Maddux. He was in Atlanta for five years, signed for an additional five years before he was a free agent. It really depends on working out a relationship that’s fair for both sides.”
"“I work for people. I’m a lawyer, and I represent players. I certainly invite players to tell me their need and wants. So I provide them with information and try to facilitate those goals.” Scott Boras – via Chicago.CBSLocal.com"
So is the history of Boras and his clients in the thought process of Epstein and Hoyer? If the Cubs were to keep Bryant in the minors for two weeks – he will be in the Cubs’ control until 2021 instead of 2020. One season could save the Cubs million’s of dollars and possibly another year of contending. That is a lot to risk.
The questions that will be raised if Bryant is kept in Iowa to start the season will be – what if the Cubs miss the playoffs by a few games? Would Bryant have been the difference maker for the Cubs going back to the post-season and was it worth keeping him in Iowa for two weeks while the Cubs keep an extra year of service with him?
Those questions will have even more merit to it if that happens.