Chicago Cubs Rumors: Scott Boras predicts spending
The Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball super agent Scott Boras have had a strained relationship dating back to 2015 with how the team handled third baseman Kris Bryant's service time during his rookie season and the relationship has continued to sour over how the team has handled free agent spending in the years since.
Signs that the relationship between Boras and the Cubs may have improved were given on Wednesday when the agent met with reporters at the General Manager meetings in Las Vegas.
"“I think the Cubs are ready to begin the truest form of their rebuilding process at the major league level,” said Boras, who would not discuss specifics about talks with any teams. “I think they feel that their minor-league system is in a place now where they need multiple major leaguers to allow for them to build that platform for their success.”"- NBC Sports Chicago
Regardless of what Boras' true thoughts are on the current state of the Cubs' organization, it is always going to be in his best interest to namedrop the team when talking about his clients that are free agents. The reason being is that while their recent spending hasn't indicated such, the Cubs are a big-market team. Including the Cubs in these conversations is only going to drive up the bidding for Boras' clients that are free agents.
The Chicago Cubs and Scott Boras may have repaired their relationship.
Boras figures to be an integral part of the Cubs' free agent process as three of his clients are of interest to the team. Those clients are free agent first baseman Josh Bell followed by shortstops Carlos Correa and Xander Bogaerts. The Cubs may have already shared their interest in those three free agents with Boras as the two sides did meet on Tuesday.
Bell is likely a fallback plan for the Cubs at the first base position given their primary interest in Jose Abreu. Still, the switch-hitter would allow the Cubs to have an answer at first base while also preparing for Matt Mervis' arrival at the Major League level.
The true test for Boras and the Cubs will come with the shortstop market. Both Correa and Bogaerts are expected to receive deals that surpass six seasons and, at minimum, $200MM. Correa will likely fall closer to $300MM while Bogaerts is expected to land near the $200MM level. There figures to be a game of chicken played between the Cubs and Boras in regard to the shortstops as the team may be inclined to offer fewer years overall but a higher AAV. If Boras is against that idea, then there is a strong chance that the team will miss out on a free-agent shortstop this winter.