It is an annual rite at any and all large gatherings of baseball persons: super agent Scott Boras is asked questions, and he responds by saying the things you would expect super agent Scott Boras to say.
Occasionally, he really does have an interesting thought or two, but, for the most part, Boras’s comments are enjoyable solely for their Scott Boras-y-ness. Examples of Boras’s GM Meetings thoughts this year can be found via Bruce Levine, Patrick Mooney (and more) and Jesse Rogers (and more), among many others, I’m sure. With the right perspective, it can be fun to hear what Boras has to say about the Cubs finally winning, and he makes some genuinely laudable points about the flawed relationship between free agency, qualifying offers, and draft spending.
I do want to discuss Boras’s point that, if the Cubs want to win in 2015, they should have Kris Bryant – his client – on the Opening Day roster. Obviously it is in the best interests of Boras’s client to make the Opening Day roster, and then to stay in the big leagues thereafter so that he can reach free agency in 2021. I’ve got no problem with Boras advocating in that way. It’s his job.
But, the obvious response is something I wrote at length about earlier in the offseason: if Bryant is in the minor leagues for just 12 days to start the year – during which he would miss just 9 games – the Cubs will secure an entire extra year of control over Bryant in 2021. The risk to the Cubs in losing those 9 games of Bryant is very, very small. The upside, as untoward as it might seem, and as unfair as it might be to Bryant, is very significant. The system is the system.
That’s the balance the Cubs have to strike, together with maintaining a good relationship with Bryant (and Boras). By all appearances and accounts, Bryant is a true professional who is going to understand the realities of his situation. It’s hard to imagine there being long-lasting hard feelings here.
Throw in the roster considerations (the Cubs might need an extra 40-man spot at the end of Spring Training to sort out waiver claims) and the possibility that Bryant could work on defense a touch at the start of the year in Iowa, it remains very likely that Bryant starts the year at AAA Iowa.