The Kris Bryant rumors have quieted. But his agent, Scott Boras, is weighing in.
Already this offseason, we’ve heard Kris Bryant rumors connecting the former NL Rookie of the Year and MVP to the Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves and others. Of those, the Washington rumors seemed to have the most meat on them – that is, until Nationals GM Mike Rizzo flat-out shot them down.
The problem right now is the Chicago Cubs don’t seem sure just what they have on their hands in Bryant. Is it the guy who burst onto the scene five years ago and helped erase a 108-year title drought, while racking up accolade after accolade? Or is it the guy who’s battled injuries the last few years – leading to a low point in his career during the shortened 2020 campaign?
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Bryant, who turns 29 in a few weeks, has just one year of team control remaining. The big issue as far as the Cubs are concerned? His projected $18.6 million salary for 2021 – a major drag on the team’s payroll if he’s not performing at an elite level.
His agent, Scott Boras, is looking for a rebound season from Bryant as much as the Cubs are. Coming off another MVP-caliber performance would certainly make his job easier as he shops the former first-rounder to interested clubs next offseason. If you ask Boras, Chicago has a franchise cornerstone, plain and simple.
"“All I know is that going forward this is a player who is an absolute core in a lineup,” Boras said this week. “He can do things that few players in the Major Leagues have.”"
He’s not wrong. Bryant left an indelible mark on the game early on in his career. I don’t know many people who question what he can do on the ball diamond when he’s healthy and at 100 percent. It just seems like it’s been awhile since we got to witness that with any sort of regularity. That’s no knock on Bryant, either – he’s been on the bad end of some tough-luck injuries.
It’s really hard to see the Cubs put together a trade this winter that nets any real value – especially if you’re shedding his entire salary. Chicago seems far more likely to bank on a rebound early in 2021, then look to flip him at the trade deadline: when interested clubs will only have to eat half his salary and can have their concerned appropriately remedied by that point.
But if you ask Boras, he thinks the Cubs could be making a mistake in that approach, as well.
"“The other aspect of it is just that, if the team gets off to a great start playing well and doing well, why do you want to (trade him) and say, who can replace him and what can you do to go forward?” Boras said. “So, a lot of this depends on factors that would have to play out over time.”"
No doubt, it would be tough to see the team in contention and then forego the fire sale course of action next summer. But with Bryant on the brink of joining teammates Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo in free agency in less than 12 months, Jed Hoyer might put the future first, and make what could amount to a move destined to make fans irate in his first year at the helm.
This isn’t the last we’ll hear from Boras, nor is is the last of the Kris Bryant rumors. Whether the Cubs work out an extension with their former superstar, trade him or simply bid him adieu at the end of next season, if there’s one thing we can all count on, it’s that Scott Boras will have the final word.