Scott Boras Trying Hard to Get Cubs Bidding Bigger on His Clients

Like any seasoned fisherman, Scott Boras is perfectly happy to wait for the fish to bite. But that doesn’t mean he won’t do a little trolling and change up his bait in order to find the best catch. Whether it’s publicly calling out teams in radio interviews or taking a more subtle tack by serving as a source for national reports, the super-agent is always open even when he’s not necessarily doing business.

When it comes to his behind-the-scenes work, though, Boras is about as incognito as Bobby Valentine in a pair of novelty glasses. That was apparent in Jim Bowden’s offseason grades column in The Athletic, some of which may as well have been ghost-written.

“A managerial change will not be enough to get this team to the playoffs and its front office is under significant pressure to act,” Bowden wrote to justify a C grade. “The Cubs remain in the mix for Cody Bellinger, Rhys Hoskins and Jordan Montgomery but haven’t been aggressive enough to get close to signing any of them, according to major-league sources.”

I suppose it could be pure coincidence that all three players named there are Boras clients. When you add in Blake Snell and Matt Chapman, most of the top remaining free agents share the same representation and are thus going to be lumped together. But that particular trio, with Bellinger and Hoskins really standing out, has been very heavily connected to the Cubs for months.

This just smacks of Boras getting the word out to spur Jed Hoyer to action while also chumming the waters for other interested execs.

What’s really interesting in light of a recent post here — and maybe it’s just interesting to me — is that Bowden also tweeted Friday that the Cubs are among the finalists for lefty Shōta Imanaga. Other teams named were the Red Sox, Angels, and Giants, the latter of which have been betting favorites for multiple remaining free agents and may be willing to overspend out of what may be approaching desperation.

Those finalists are going to have to move quickly with less than a week to go in Imanaga’s posting period, after which we should see an uptick in the markets for Montgomery and Blake Snell (also a Boras client). This may sound funny, but I can see the Cubs preferring Montgomery at $150 million-ish over committing closer to $100 million on Imanaga. Part of that is of that is a sense of familiarity, more is the “dead money” in the form of a posting fee that could exceed $17 million.

We’ll know soon enough since we kinda have to given the timing, I just get the sense that Boras wants to get things moving in conjunction with Imanaga’s decision looming.

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