Tom Ricketts speaks on Cody Bellinger - and why he won't talk to Scott Boras

The Cubs owner discussed the former MVP outfielder - and his agent Scott Boras - on Monday morning at Sloan Park.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

We have our first spring comments from Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and, to the surprise of absolutely no one, one of the big topics was free agent Cody Bellinger.

Now, typically, Ricketts doesn't discuss specific players, but in this instance, he did - essentially saying that, although discussions have taken place, things haven't progressed to a 'negotiation' stage. To me, that suggests Scott Boras continues to stick to his reportedly outlandish asking price for Bellinger - one neither Cubs (nor, likely any other big league team) has interest in at north of $200 million.

Bellinger checked every box for the Cubs in 2023 and, if not for a knee injury early in the summer, could have wound up garnering some down-ballot MVP support for his efforts (even with the missed time, he still finished 10th in NL MVP voting). But the body of work the two-plus years prior to last season have scared teams off, despite his relative youth and bounceback performance in Chicago.

The Cubs, for what its worth, seem perfectly content rolling with Pete Crow-Armstrong as their starting center fielder and seeing what they have in infield prospect Michael Busch at first. Ricketts and the Cubs aren't going to outbid themselves on Bellinger, a player who comes with a fair degree of risk, along with his upside.

Cubs owner Tom Ricketts won't insert himself into talks with Scott Boras on Cody Bellinger - or any other free agent

Boras has a long history of pushing front offices on the fence with his clients to where he needs them by directly engaging with owners. That's not going to work here with Bellinger - at least not when it comes to the Cubs and Ricketts.

Ricketts has long maintained the stance that baseball operations decisions rest with the front office - not ownership. Obviously, he remains in touch with Hoyer and the front office brass and, should things take that next step and numbers are seriously exchanged, he'll be involved in those internal discussions. But Boras isn't going to play Ricketts against Hoyer to get Bellinger what he wants here.