Cubs third base prospect Kris Bryant has six home runs in nine Cactus League games this spring. He’s produced a 1.804 OPS and 30 total bases in 26 plate appearances. And yet the 23-year-old is not going to be on the Opening Day roster for a team that hasn’t won a World Series title since 1908 because the Cubs pretty much have to play the service time game.
If the Cubs hold off on promoting Bryant until April 17, they can delay his potential free agency an extra year — from 2020 to 2021. A whole year of control for an easy 10-game delay. It’s a no-brainer.
But that isn’t sitting well with one biased party — Bryant’s agent, Scott Boras. He put out a challenge to the Cubs on Tuesday as part of a “30-minute rant” to Bob Nightengale of USA Today …
“You are damaging the ethics and brand of Major League Baseball,” Boras said. “Kris Bryant has extraordinary skills. Kris Bryant is a superstar. He has distinguished himself from all players at every level he’s played.
“Everybody in baseball is saying he’s a major-league player ready for the big leagues. I have players call me. Executives call me. The Cubs’ people want him there. Everyone says, ‘They cannot send this guy down.’ It’s too obvious.
“This isn’t a system choice. This isn’t a mandate. This is a flat ownership decision. Do they really want to win here?”
Bryant batted .325/.438/.661 with 43 home runs and 110 RBI in 138 games last season between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. He’s ready. But if the Cubs think Bryant is going to be a star — like Boras and everybody else does — the only move under the current system is to get that extra year. There’s still a big pot at the end of the rainbow for Boras and his client. Ben Badler of Baseball America put it succinctly …
If the Cubs are truly committed to winning, they will start Kris Bryant in Triple-A for a couple of weeks.
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) March 18, 2015