Scott Boras lashed out against the Cubs and the system again about a decision that hasn’t been made yet, sending Kris Bryant down to Triple-A Iowa for the start of the season.
Jon Heyman talked to Boras, who was apparently more than happy to share his views on the subject. And Boras even went as far to say, “They haven’t won for 100 years, and they should start trying to win today. Cubs’ fans are paying the third-highest ticket prices. They are paying for the team to win today. They don’t pay to see the club do business.”
“This is not a baseball decision. The Cubs’ responsibility is to win.”
Boras explained to Jon Heyman, “The opiate of player control cannot supersede the greater importance of MLB’s integrity and brand, which says that this is where the best players play. You can’t have that. Clearly there is an obligation to put the best players in the big leagues.”
Kris Bryant has done exactly what he said he would this spring … make it hard for the Cubs not to include him on the Opening Day roster. Bryant has outperformed the best players in the game this spring according to Boras. And he thinks Bryant has a chance to hit 25-30 home runs in the big leagues this season.
“Even if starting Bryant in the minors is in the best interest of the Cubs, that doesn’t mean it’s in the best interest of the league,” Boras said to CBS Sports. “Everyone else is going to be rightly wondering why the best player isn’t out there.”
Theo Epstein has made valid points as to why it’s best for a player to make his debut after Opening Day.
“To get in a good rhythm in games that actually count, so he can come up at just the right moment. So you can preserve depth and give other players opportunities. So he doesn’t have to deal with the weirdness of Opening Day, when even veteran players feel kind of off their games. So if there’s an adjustment to be made to cold weather, it can be done in the minor leagues in a better environment.”
Epstein made a point to say he’s “far from perfect” and by no means are they “right all the time” or even on this issue. Epstein leaned on his track record of having success developing players and bringing them up to the majors at seemingly the right time.
Kris Bryant has been the talk of baseball for a majority of Spring Training and the noise from Scott Boras has gotten so loud that Commissioner Rob Manfred had a few words to say about the situation.
Commissioner Manfred told several reporters in Fort Myers that Boras should “stay out of the Cubs business when it comes to a decision on Kris Bryant” according to the Tribune. Commissioner Manfred said he knows the Cubs “will make the decisions that are best for the long term competitiveness of the club.”
Manfred explained, “And focusing on whether a particular player has played, or is with a club on a day, or days, I don’t think is a fair evaluation of what the club is up to. The club is in the best position, and the Cubs are in the best position, to decide what’s going to make them the most competitive over the longest period of time.”
Jon Heyman talked to Boras after learning about Rob Manfred’s stance on the subject. And Boras responded to the Commissioner’s comments.
“Since I work for the player under the mandate of the MLBPA … how insightful. The new commissioner’s pre Marvin Miller state of mind.”
Theo Epstein has already said publicly the team will ignore comments about Kris Bryant from anybody outside of the organization. “As with all our baseball decisions, I will determine where Kris begins the 2015 season after consulting with members of our baseball operations staff. Comments from agents, media members and anybody outside our organization will be ignored.”
According to the Sun-Times, Epstein said Friday, “People can talk all they want about ulterior motives, but we’re making a professional baseball player development judgement.”
If anything Scott Boras continuing to attack the situation through the media has hurt his client.
The Cubs were expected to have Kris Bryant start the season in Triple-A, Boras has done nothing but ensure his client will spend at least two weeks wearing an Iowa Cubs uniform.