Results tagged ‘ Scott Boras ’
Agent Scott Boras held court Wednesday at the Winter Meetings, which he typically does, and addressed several topics, including the Cubs recent signing of free agent Jon Lester.
“Jon Lester, you go to the games, you watch him pitch, you sit behind him, this guy has great stuff,” Boras said. “He’s really a difficult pitcher to hit now because he’s really learned to regulate his speeds. He can overpower you, he can finesse you, and he really is a big-game pitcher. I think the Cubs got a great deal. I think he’s a really, really impactful player and a dominant, dominant pitcher.”
A year ago, Boras criticized the Cubs for not spending on free agents. This year is different.
“This is the place we’d always hoped the Cubs would be,” Boras said. “That is, filling the stadium with the type of talent that is going to make it a contending team. It’s hard, there’s no question, to take the steps that they’ve done, to bring in some veteran players. I think, much like swimming pools, when there’s too many kids in the pool, it changes the color of the water. You’ve got to make sure that that combination is appropriate to win, but certainly I give the Ricketts family and the group that they’ve given the ‘go’ sign on this -– it’s great to see the monsters of the midway are back at it on both sides of town.”
Re: the “monsters” reference, Boras was referring to the moves the White Sox have made.
– Carrie Muskat
If Cubs fans are upset at how long it’s taking the team to complete its rebuilding process, they have a friend in agent Scott Boras.
“The idea is it’s going to take some time for them to reach the resolve to say that they’re going to compete on all fronts to win a division or build a franchise,” Boras told reporters at the baseball Winter Meetings on Wednesday when asked about the Cubs.
“Obviously, it’s internal and I know the fans and baseball [operations] people have a plan afoot,” Boras said. “It’s just that normally with major market teams, you see a little bit different approach than you see here [with the Cubs]. This is more of a small-market approach if you will.”
The Cubs’ plan since Theo Epstein took over as president of baseball operations prior to the 2012 season is to develop their own players in an effort to build a solid foundation of homegrown talent. That includes two of Boras’ clients, Albert Almora and Kris Bryant.
“I think everybody knows that we have great respect for their baseball people there,” Boras said of the Cubs’ front office. “They’ve done a great job in the Draft. They know what they’re doing. The real thing has nothing to do the baseball people or how the organization is run. It’s just the fact that you have a major market team that has dramatically more revenues than most clubs that do take this type of approach.
“The Cubs have the capacity to sign any player they want in baseball,” Boras said. “The question is whether they think it fits their plan.”
Epstein said he had a great relationship with Boras and seemed more amused by the comments.
“It’s not the first time an agent has used the media to try to compel a team into spending huge amounts of money without knowledge of that club’s financial situation,” Epstein said. “It’s not a surprise and we’re not going to get into a war of words with Scott other than to say the folks who work at the Cubs probably have a better understanding of our situation than he does. We look forward to working with him and to continue to sign his players.”
– Carrie Muskat
Agent Scott Boras, who represents Prince Fielder, downplayed what has seemed like a slow market for the 27-year-old slugger. Boras says teams with new GMs want to be thorough in what they do.
“When you’re talking about franchise commitments, they have to report to ownership as result of our meetings and get back with me on that,” Boras said late Wednesday at the Winter Meetings. “This is a negotiation that is really one of its own because he’s 27 years old. He has a different place in the market, and the demands on his services are broader because you have teams that are not as playoff-ready that are interested [and] you have clubs that are veteran that are interested. You have a whole variety of teams that are involved.”
The Brewers are still part of the process, Boras said, which means Cubs fans may not have seen the last of the first baseman.
“He’s had great success there, he enjoys his teammates, so certainly it’s a consideration,” Boras said.
What about the Cubs? New manager Dale Sveum was Fielder’s hitting coach in Milwaukee and has raved about the first baseman. The Cubs need a first baseman. Have they shown interest? Boras said to “ask the Cubs.”
“I think any team that wants to get better” will inquire on Fielder, Boras said. “Whether they’re a younger team or a veteran team or a team that wants to win now, there are not many teams not in need of a core player like this. There’s a few that aren’t, obviously, but most are certainly going to want to look into the situation.”
The Cubs are in more of a retooling mode right now under Theo Epstein & Co. Fielder has told Boras he’ll consider everything.
“Those are things that Prince and I need to talk about. He asked me to take an open view here and collect information from every club,” Boras said. “I didn’t meet with too many teams that said they thought they were three years away. That’s not something you hear too often.”
Any geographic preference?
“I just think he likes fences that are close to home plate,” Boras said. “That’s the geographics he likes.”
That would put Wrigley Field in the mix.
Boras also represents Carlos Pena, now on the market after declining the Cubs’ offer of arbitration.
“We’ve got interest on him, and I think that interest will increase as the other first basemen sign,” Boras said. “He certainly is a guy who is in the upper tier because he has power and he is such a good defender and held up by the teams to be good for his leadership and a good locker room guy.”
– Carrie Muskat
The problem with Carlos Pena, besides his .196 average last season, could be money. Pena’s agent, Scott Boras, is reportedly seeking a deal that will pay the free agent first baseman $8 million. He did hit 28 homers and 18 doubles for the Rays and battled a foot injury part of the season. There are other options but the Cubs aren’t the only team looking for a first baseman. The Nationals are, too, especially after Adam Dunn’s departure.
The Cubs also are looking at free agent Adam LaRoche, who told MLB.com he is interested in playing for the Nationals. He’s coming off his best season in which he hit .261 with 25 home runs and 100 RBIs for the Diamondbacks. The free agent first baseman was impressed by the Nationals’ signing of Jayson Werth to a long-term contract. “I think it shows how serious the Nationals are about getting the organization back on track and becoming a contender in the National League East,” LaRoche told MLB.com. The left-handed hitter has a .271 career average. LaRoche was paid $4.5 million last season and the D-backs opted to not pick up his $7.5 million option for 2011, so he also received a $1.5 million buyout.
– Carrie Muskat