With the start of Spring Training less than two weeks away, Scott Boras may be trying to push for a resolution on two free agents that the Chicago Cubs have been linked to throughout the off-season.
In his weekly roundup of news across Major League Baseball, USA Today's Bob Nightengale floated the possibility of the Philadelphia Phillies being a team that could have interest in starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery and outfielder Cody Bellinger.
"– Several executives think the Philadelphia Phillies could be a sleeper for one of the remaining marquee free agents in starter Jordan Montgomery or center fielder Cody Bellinger. Their lone big move has been re-signing Aaron Nola, and Bellinger certainly would provide Gold Glove-caliber defense and another bat to balance the lineup. Montgomery would strengthen the top of the rotation.- Bob Nightengale, USA Today
Yet, unless their price-tags drop, the Phillies plan to remain patient."
This has the sniff of Boras leaking to Nightengale that the Phillies could be a team involved in the markets for both Montgomery and Bellinger as a way to push interested teams to submit final offers. Even in the tidbit, Nightengale applies the caveat that the price for both would need to drop before the Phillies alter their approach.
At this point, Boras is likely aware of the fact that he may have to come down from his asking price but the agent wants to throw one more hail mary attempt. For Montgomery, the Cubs likely won't have much of an interest unless the price drops significantly but the Texas Rangers likely are the team to watch. The Boston Red Sox have had an interest in Montgomery but may not have the money available to make such a deal.
As for Bellinger, it very much remains Cubs' or bust. The teams that were going to pose the biggest threat to the Cubs for signing Bellinger, the New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants, haven't shown motivation toward meeting the asking price. The Giants could still be involved, even the Toronto Blue Jays, but it would seem that Bellinger's value will come down to the point where a reunion with the Cubs is inevitable.