MESA, Ariz. -- Baseball’s top prospect, Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, defended agent Scott Boras' comments after Boras criticized the team for their potential handling of his star client.
“Scott works for me,” Bryant said Wednesday morning. “He does a great job. It’s nice to have a bulldog working for you rather than a poodle. He definitely sticks up for his players and wants the best for them.”
Boras was critical of Cubs ownership to USA Today and Fox Sports on Tuesday, wondering if money or winning was more important to the team.
“Cubs ownership has a choice,” Boras said. “Are they going to present to their market that they are trying to win? Tom Ricketts said they were all about winning.”
At stake is whether Bryant should break camp with the Cubs starting his service time clock -- and getting him to free agency a year earlier -- or leaving him in the minors for at least a couple of weeks giving the Cubs an added year of employment before he’s able to hit the open market.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to play in the big leagues and I would like to get there as soon as possible,” Bryant said. “I think the spring I’m having so far is putting me in a pretty good position. We’re told we can go out there and win a spot and I really took that to heart at the beginning of spring. I came out here with a chip on my shoulder and wanted to play as hard as I can.”
Bryant leads all hitters this spring with six home runs -- no one else has more than three -- after leading the minors last season with 43 long balls. It’s not the first time Boras has been critical of Cubs ownership throughout their rebuilding process but Bryant has mostly stayed on the sidelines until now.
“Ownership has been great to me,” Bryant said. “Treating me nothing but with first class. I have nothing but good things to say about them but at the same time I’m hearing from teammates that they want me up and I’m doing well and everyone is telling me I’m progressing well. It’s kind of sending me mixed messages to me. But it definitely is refreshing to hear from teammates that they want me up there and other coaches around the league that I happen to know personally from the fall league and stuff who tell me how well I’m doing. I don’t let it get to my head but it’s nice to hear from your teammates and peers around here.”
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) March 14, 2015
Bryant has been sidelined with a sore shoulder the past few days but is in the lineup at third base for Thursday’s spring game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Cubs have stated that he needs work on his defense as he is not the prototypical third baseman at 6-foot-5. Bryant has made two throwing errors this spring.
“I was thinking about this this past week,” Bryant said. “When I started in Boise [Class A] I was rough but at each level I progressed really well. I think my stats have gone up fielding. I feel really good out there. I’ve done everything they’ve asked me to, getting better every day. I’ve gotten nothing but positive feedback.”
Bryant says he’s trying to limit the distractions and there’s nothing he wants to do more than “bring a World Series to Chicago” but the issue of him making the team keeps coming up. With Boras’ involvement it’s become a national story. Bryant doesn’t seem to mind.
“He’s the best that’s ever been in this game,” Bryant stated. “He’s kind of polarizing. Some guys don’t like him but as a player you have to love him. He’s there fighting for you every day. He wants the best for you. It’s not just for him. He’s a great family man. I can call him at any time of the night and ask a question. He’s there to answer it. That’s the type of guy you want on your side.”