He only represents the third-biggest available free agent at the moment, but Scott Boras still draws a crowd. This was the man holding court, as he does every year, right outside the media room.
It was hard to get close, but I heard him say something about 31 or 32 being young these days. Tune in the next time he has a 27 or a 28-year-old free agent and ask him again what prime baseball-playing age is. Gotta love Scotty.
The reason he was here: his client, Carlos Pena, just held a press conference in the wake of his signing with the Cubs. It was fairly straightforward. Lots of questions about why he was below the Mendoza Line this year (answer: I won’t be next year). Lots of questions about why he chose Chicago on this particular deal. He did not actually say “because I want to be like Adrian Beltre and have a big value-building year before I hit the market again next year,” though that was clearly what he was getting at in most of his answers. And for that very reason this seems like a really smart deal for Pena.
I’ve only been in close proximity to Pena a couple of times, but he’s pretty charming and seems like one of baseball’s brighter bulbs. And he dresses well. And, if asked, I bet he wouldn’t start spewing birther nonsense. Such a more reasonable day in here today than it was yesterday.
Only weird note in the whole thing: Pena started out by saying that he was a Cubs fan as a kid and that he “remembered watching George Bell.” George Bell played exactly one season for the Cubs: 1991. It was an OK, but by no means great season for Bell, after which he was traded to the White Sox for Sammy Sosa.
Must have been particularly memorable for Pena, I guess.