Words mean little right now in light of the Cubs’ utter lack of activity, but it’s starting to feel and sound more like something could be happening soon to change the conversation. That could mean more than just snow blowing in for Cubs Convention, as the bluster of a predicted Scott Boras Winter may be ready to hit Chicago. The agent doesn’t seem to be finding as robust a market for his clients as he may have believed back in November, which plays right into Jed Hoyer’s hands.
At the same time, Hoyer may be feeling a little pressure to get something done at the risk of seeing his patience bite him in the ass. With their annual fan summit right around the corner, a big deal or two would provide much-needed help to the roster while boosting PR in a big way. Boras is no stranger to getting his message out through the media, with the latest coming in the form of Jim Bowden’s offseason grades in The Athletic.
The former GM joined the Foul Territory podcast on Monday to discuss his assessments a little further, and he was particularly critical of the Cubs.
“The Chicago Cubs have done nothing,” Bowden said. “I don’t understand why you go out and spend $40 million on Craig Counsell, you fire David Ross, and then you do nothing. They haven’t signed a single free agent, they haven’t made a single trade, and if they think that Craig Counsell is gonna walk in and win with the team that David Ross didn’t win with, I think they’re gonna be extremely disappointed.”
Nothing novel there, but the Boras influence really came through when Bowden was asked about giving the Cubs a C so far. After quipping that C stood for Counsell and noting that there are still plenty of moves to be made, he dropped several names.
“They’re involved and they’ve made significant offers to Jordan Montgomery, Cody Bellinger, Matt Chapman, and Rhys Hoskins,” Bowden added. “So they’re out there. Those guys haven’t signed yet, so they haven’t lost out on them. So, C, yeah: They’ve held their own, they got Counsell, and they’re making moves.”
I don’t have to tell you at this point what those four players have in common, so it’s not hard to imagine where this information is coming from. What makes that interesting is that “significant” is doing much heavier lifting if we believe Boras or someone in his circle is indeed the source here. Even if Bowden isn’t getting this directly from the agent, it’s a big change from saying the Cubs “haven’t been aggressive enough to get close to signing any of them.”
It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which all four players ended up on the North Side, though landing three of them isn’t all that outlandish. The Bellinger/Hoskins combo has seemed like a very good fit since free agency began, and we know they’ve been looking to add to the rotation. Chapman seems like the odd man out, but maybe Boras ends up getting creative in a way that gets Hoyer to agree.
Even though Boras and the Cubs don’t have a great track record when it comes to long-term deals, there are just so many intersections here that I believe something has to get done fairly soon.