Why Kris Bryant will sign

Why Kris Bryant will sign

I'm not among those wringing my hands about the Kris Bryant negotiations.  We saw some of that last year with Albert Almora, but I wasn't worried then either.

More than anything, it's annoying because Bryant could have gotten his career started already and should be hitting 450 foot HRs for the Boise Hawks right now -- but it's just a delay of the inevitable, all for a wrangling for the few slot dollars left to gain.

There is a lot at stake for Kris Bryant.  His value will never be higher so I understand that Boras is trying to capitalize on that.  For that same reason, Bryant really has nothing to gain by going back to school. His value as an amateur is nearly at it's peak and the only time it will get higher -- albeit marginally higher -- is closer to the deadline.  But when that deadline passes, that value will begin to decrease.

He certainly doesn't have as much to gain as Boras' last  big draft client, Mark Appel, did.  Appel went 8th and the Pirates were only able to offer him something less than $4M -- an amount he could have easily beaten the next season simply by repeating his performance.  That is not the case with Bryant.  Bryant could hit 40 HRs next year and it won't significantly increase his value.  And unless something happens to NC State's LHP Carlos Rodon, he's going to go 2nd again -- at best -- and with less leverage.  Like Appel, he'll probably be forced to sign an underslot deal no matter where he's picked.

Now Boras will have you think that Appel agreed to a sweetheart deal for the chance to play for his hometown team, but that love didn't exist last year when Houston broached the subject of a pre-draft deal.  Losing leverage has a way of tugging at those heart strings, I suppose.

So Boras is struggling for a few hundred thousand, putting out the word in the media about all the reasons why he doesn't need to sign.  Well, it's a bunch of malarkey.

Let's say Bryant doesn't sign and everything goes to Boras' plan and he manages to extract an extra 500K in bonus money.   At what cost?  At the cost of time value with that money?  At the cost of delaying his progression through the minor leagues by a year, thereby delaying the starting of his service time clock toward arbitration and free agency?   That's where Bryant can make the real money.  It takes just one year quicker to arbitration to make up and surpass whatever extra bonus money he can extract now.

So where is the logic?

It's really about setting market value and Boras in effect is using Bryant as his test case to accomplish that goal.  He wants to set the bar higher for next year.  He'll say he has his clients' best interest in minds -- but that is more true in the larger sense.  And by that I mean that it's better for his clients -- his future clients -- in aggregate.

But it does little for Bryant except delay the start of his pro career.  The immediate monetary gain, if he were to strike a larger deal next year, is nominal -- and that gain in the present is paid --overpaid, in fact, by the delaying of his ascent to the MLB club. In fact, it already has delayed it to some extent. What it really does is it benefits Boras' clients next year and that in turn, benefits Boras himself, not Bryant.

Boras will also tell you that the Cubs have a lot to lose and nothing to gain but "a comp pick". He is right in that the Cubs do have something to lose.  They'd certainly like to sign Bryant and accelerate his development.  They'd like to get him ready to help the big league team as soon as possible.  But the "comp pick" that the Cubs gain is the #3 pick in next year's draft -- a pick where they can get a similar, possibly even better, player at less cost.  What the Cubs lose here is a year of player development -- but that is a loss they share mutually with Bryant -- and thus Boras himself.

So in the end, Boras will finagle as much as he can of that remaining pool money and will sign when Bryant is at peak value -- which will be as close to the deadline as possible.  That will undoubtedly create some tense moments, but Boras is smart enough to know that when all is said and done, he is better off having his client sign this year.  He'll take as much as he can but he won't overplay his hand.  The small gains in bonus money he may need to forfeit now are far less than the money he stands to gain later when Bryant is a major league player.  It's not the same scenario as last year when he ultimately took a calculated gamble by not having Appel sign.  It paid off. He was able to make an extra $2.5M for Appel and himself, but he will not gain nearly that much even in the best case scenario for Bryant.  There is a far better chance Boras will lose money by sending Bryant to school.

And a couple things we know about Boras, he is smart and he doesn't like to lose -- but sending Bryant to school is almost a certain loss, not for him, but also for his client and the Cubs team -- a big market team -- with which he he has worked hard to build a good relationship.

In other words, everyone loses if Bryant doesn't sign and there is no way all 3 parties choose a scenario in which they all lose.  It's just not going to happen.

So yeah, Bryant will sign.  Maybe Boras will get some extra dollars and claim victory in the negotiations  -- but that would be a victory that is more about Boras than Bryant.  The real victory for both Bryant and the Cubs will be when he gets on to the baseball field.

And the sooner the better.

Filed under: MLB Draft


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  • Boras is such a sleazebag. But I guess that's his job. The guys that really annoy me are the "reporters" who gin up this hype about Bryant not signing, even though they have to know that they're being used as a negotiating tactic. I guarantee you that Boras is on the phone with those reporters, telling them he'll give them scoops about future signings if only they'll do him a favor and run a story about how Bryant might not sign.

  • In reply to Taft:

    Well said, Taft!

    Boras better be careful or he will push the Cubs too far and potentially lose out on a big-market team who could feed his obsession of greatness.

  • In reply to Taft:

    It makes for a good story, I guess. It creates drama.

  • If its true and they will get the 3rd pick don't give Boras any
    anything extra.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    The Cubs will have to weigh that extra with the cost of losing an entire year of player development -- so many times, it's worth paying a little extra -- but not too much, of course.

  • The Cubs are headed in the right direction. The rebuilding process takes time and with some good luck, it will come sooner than later. Bryant would be a huge addition to our rising stars and I believe he can see that for himself. His agent won't stop him from signing, Kris will follow his heart and want to be part of the "New Cubs". Who wouldn't want to lead the Cubs to their first Worls Series in over 100 years, that would be so cool...

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    That would be very cool -- and hopefully we'll see it soon!

    I think Bryant will sign too but I'm not sure how much he'll have to do with it unless things get really desperate. One Boras client told me he didnt' hear from Boras at all until it was time to sign.

  • fb_avatar

    It has been a pleasure watching Scott Boras being forced to give up more and more negotiating leverage with each passing CBA. Still, I'd trade a similar reputation for the money he's made but ultimately, he is becoming a victim of his own tactics. Too bad it couldn't have happened earlier in his career.

  • In reply to Jivewired:

    He's still fighting it with everything he's got -- but the gains aren't what they used to be. The new CBA is almost certainly designed with him in mind.

  • I wished he would have signed early and not started off his career with the Cubs by talking hold out. You know if this kid falters a little bit he will never hear the end of this from Cub fans for these tactics. We are splitting hairs here over pocket money to these players and agents. Boras doesn't want to look soft after laying down with Astros.

  • Mr Bore Us is just an example of where agents put there own interests ahead of the clients. If I might ask BoreUs, how much of a pct are you making as a "consulting" fee? Maybe that's the reason you want to squeeze a few hundred thousand more out, not the best interest of your client.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Agents typically make 10%. So if Bryant signs for 6 mil, he gets $5.4 mil and Boras gets 600k.

    Bryant should call the Cubs and offer to sign for $5.5 mil with no agent. Just hire a lawyer dude.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    Baseball agents get 4% of the contract

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    I've always been told the top flight MLB agents make 10%, but I do not have any first hand experience. I know the NFL collective bargaining agreement limits agent fees to 3%. It's all academic anyway, he's not firing his agent at this point.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    I do some wok or a baseball agent, its 4% of the contract and there is an additional 4% they can get for off field activities. Not exactly sure how that second part works but the agent I work for (I do the income tax returns, I am not on the baseball side) only takes the 4%. If your really curious I can ask him for you

  • Boras should always think about his client first (not just the money)

  • fb_avatar

    we're already almost $200,000 over budget and haven't signed Clifton, Graham, or Poncedeleon.

    If he's not willing to sign for 6 million, I'd prefer to take the #3 pick next year which should be better than the last two drafts by a decent margin.

    Appel wanting more money was understandable. a #1 talent going #8 is a lot of money. Bryant is just pissing me off. He's not going to go #1 next year. He wouldn't have done as well this year if it wasn't maybe the worst draft class of the last decade.

    There is no reason to go over-slot (or even AT slot) when all the surrounding players were willing to go under. He's not anywhere near special enough to do that.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Its too bad those guy aren't being represented by Boras as well. I'm sure his head would have exploded by now.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I think Clifton is the only significant overslot -- but I wouldn't jeopardize signing Bryant for that.

    And I don't know if you can just simply compare talent for one draft to the next. Too many unknowns and you have to account for the loss of development time.

    I also wouldn't take it out on Bryant. This is all Boras. I talked to a Boras client who said he didn't even talk to him after he was drafted until Boras called to say, "I got a deal for you. It's a good one and I think you should sign it"

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Was the guy you talked to a top pick with a contract worth several million dollars?

    I don't doubt your account, but I'd be very surprised if the #2 pick wasn't in regular contract with Boras.

    And if this FO's whole pitching strategy is "draft enough pitchers and wait to get lucky" then I wouldnt discount the importance of signing any pitcher with promise.
    despite the FO's best intentions we still have few enough pitching prospects that you can count them on one hand.

    As for comparing one draft to the other, I see it all the time. A year ago this draft was predicted to be very weak. And it was.
    Bryant and Gray surprised some. But that's mostly it. A lot of the top talent was being closely watched before the HS or colege seasons even began. It's not like ONLY high school seniors and college juniors are scouted. Sure, injuries or bad performances can affect stock, and there will be some surprisingly strong performers, but for the most part you can predict who should be a high pick or how deep a draft will be.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    "Surprised" based on what? Your prior knowledge of Boras' relationship with clients? FWIW, this was a very high rated draft prospect who got a large bonus and he also told me that was the experience other players had with him as well. And it's not like Boras has a lot of 12th round clients. Most of his guys are big time.

    You can compare one draft to the other, but what you are discounting is the value of an entire year of development time. It's not an apples to apples consideration. You'll rarely see teams punt a pick to get one next year and I can assure you the Cubs have no intention of doing this. They understand the value of getting Bryant signed. The comp pick is nothing but a last case resort.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    You are REALLY wound up about that year of development.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    You are REALLY wrapped up in your own assumptions of how things work -- but I don't see anything to back it up.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    uh, I wasn't further arguing any facts about the signings. All you, bud.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I just think you value that year of development a little *TOO* much.

    There's 3, maybe 5 pitchers that could possibly play well enough to be picked in the top 3 next year. Maybe even more if there's Jon Gray-like surprises.

    Several position prospects (including Bryant) as well.

    If he doesn't sign, it's not the end of the world. And depending on the level of polish that year of lost development might be irrelevant.
    Wacha just made it to the show in a matter of a few months.
    Obviously there's no guaruntees there but I don't see Bryant flying through the system. Especially with Tho & Jed's feelings about hitters needing 2000 PA's before reaching the show. I think they're more wary of hitters being promoted too quickly than pitchers.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    The problem I have with that is that we can't assume we can measure player values with that degree of accuracy-- and the anecdotal evidence doesn't really help when we are looking this in the big picture. If we could know which are the best players with a high degree of certainty, then the best players would be picked in order year after year. They obviously are not. When you can't fully ascertain the value of one player vs. another, which is likely the case between the #2 pick this year and the #3 pick next year -- and that is certainly the case at this point in time, then the certainty of knowing the current value of Bryant plus that extra year of development outweighs the uncertain value of the pick for next year.

    You can never know how things will turn out, so we have to look at it abstractly. And in those terms, it's a loss for the Cubs if they don't sign Bryant.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'll also add that he was a top prospect, played many years in the bigs, -- and even then he never heard from Boras from the time he signed until it was time for him to negotiate a new contract.

  • If he does not sign will the Cubs face penalties with their overslot signings that are already inked? I know that you lose the pool money from the pick, so wouldn't that be the leverage?
    All in all I am not concerned at all. I think he would be foolish to not sign and I certainly want him in the system. However; the #3 pick in next year's DEEPER draft would be enticing as a fallback.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Tide23:

    They are not currently over 5% for the players they've already signed, but they're close.

    So if we can't get Bryant to go under slot, I'm pretty sure we can't sign ANYONE else.

    I'm not an expert on the new CBA though. I think the spending for outside of the top-10 has exceptions, but then again I know If you don't use your slot money you can't use it anywhere else.

    In any case, if he doesn't sign far enough under slot to free up some money to sign all the interesting pitchers we picked up in the middle rounds, this draft will be almost as big of a bust as if he doesn't sign at all, IMO.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Thanks for the reply. I hope you are right about the current signings. I was factoring in the not knowing terms of Tyler Alamo and possible Trevor Clifton overslot signings. I think they need to get Bryant as low as possible to be able to get those 2 signed. I don't hold it against Bryant for waiting Cubs out for as much cash as possible though because as has been said many times before he might not make it and this is life-changing money.
    He is going to sign though. Last year I was worried about Almora but knew it would get done and I told myself then that I wouldn't worry this year.

  • In reply to Tide23:

    They lose the pool money but it won't affect the other signings.

  • "The immediate monetary gain is nominal "

    Even if Boras only gets an extra 100K out of the Cubs by waiting to the deadline, that is not nominal for Kris Bryant. While we all expect future stardom for Kris Bryant and we can all talk about how this slows his development and could mean it pushes back the time it takes for Bryant to reach the show and might push free agency back for a year. In reality, this may be the most important contract Kris Bryant ever signs, and it may end up being the richest. If he fails to live up to expectations, or gets hurt, every penny from this first contract will matter to him. This is not a veteran player in free agency who has already made a decent amount of money in his career and trying to wrestle every last dime he can. Kris Bryant may never even earn a major league paycheck, let alone cash in big in free agency.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    In short: Kris Bryant and Scott Boras are doing nothing wrong.

    What they are doing may not be in the Cubs best interest, or the Cubs fans best interest. But they are doing what is in their own best interest and they should not be faulted for that. Bryant does not work for the Cubs (yet), he owes them and us nothing at all. And Boras works for Bryant. They have every right to wait and squeeze and use whatever tactic within the rules they want to get Kris Bryant the best deal possible. Again, this may be the only baseball contract Kris Bryant ever signs.

    Anyone think Ryan Harvey or Luis Montanez would agree that getting an extra 100K in their first contract would be nominal?

  • In reply to mjvz:

    I think you misread the entire article. This is about if he doesn't sign this year. I could care less if he signs now or at the deadline and, in fact, I said his value probably increases marginally toward the deadline.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I did not misread the article. I understood the points you were trying to make.

    My mistake was in taking a small snippet from your article in trying to make my point, when my argument was more geared toward the commenters than the article itself. I agree with 99% of what you said in the article. I apologize for making it seem like I was disagreeing with you. I tried to make my point by commenting on the article instead of making it confrontational in response to some of the comments.

    And really this all just kind of a pet peeve of mine and I probably went off more than I should have. It bugs me when people vilify Boras and his clients, especially draft picks. They are being drafted into a system designed to not pay them market value, so I have no issue with them trying make it work as best as possible for them, and hiring Scott Boras is a good way to do that.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    It could be just me. Sometimes I wonder if I was unclear in what I wrote because there seemed to be more confusion than usual. I probably could have worded this piece better because I think we all agree in general, though we may disagree on some of the specifics. I kept feeling that people were disagreeing with things I never said. I'd much rather have people disagree with things I do say ;)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Its just the time of year for me to get mad and overreact to these things. All the trade involving money and draft signings, international signings and stuff it means in all the blogs and comments I've read over the past few weeks people are saying things like: Why would the Cubs care about saving 500K in the Marmol deal. And why would they trade Torreyes for 800K in pool money if they are going to go over and pay the penalty anyway, etc. Just bugs me.

    Each of these moves is not done in a vacuum. If teams, and players didn't care or pay attention to every amount of money in every deal the system doesn't work. All of those seemingly little amounts of money make a great difference both ways. For teams because they make so many deals in a year, if they just gave a couple hundred grand to every player because "what does it matter" there budget would be completely blown. And for the players because they make so few deals, so every penny matters.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    This is a fair point and a fair response to some of the comments that followed the article.

  • In reply to RSBeast:

    Except that it missed the point of the article. It's making a point that he has the right to try and get as much money as he can before the deadline. That is not disputed in the piece at all.

    Where that money becomes not worth fighting over is if he doesn't sign because of it and has to play another college ball to try and get it.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree with the point you made in the article. At some point everyone is nibbling at the margins and, for that reason, a deal is almost certain to get done. It's a valid, rational point.

    I also recognize that you're not disputing Bryant's right to make the deal that best serves his interest right now. I think where you and MJVZ diverge is on the weight that Bryant's potential future contracts have in the decision making process.

    From your perspective, the potential future contracts will more than make up for any money left on the table in this deal. (I realize that's not the only point you made, but I think it is the one with which MJVZ takes issue) If Bryant makes it, you're probably right. In that sense, Boras is acting in his own interest by trying to maximize the value of this deal.

    MJVZ makes the point that there are no guarantees of future contracts. Bryant (or at least Boras as his agent) should consider that possibility too. The logical response to it is to maximize the value of the current deal because it may be the only deal. In that sense, Boras is, appropriately, acting in the interest of his client.

    As fans, we all want to see top players signed, playing, and producing results. When that doesn't happen as quickly as we'd like, it is very easy to lay the blame on greedy agents and/or players. I recognize that you're not going that far, but some comments definitely lean in that direction. I think it is important to remember the other side of the proverbial coin - when players don't produce, this game chews them up and spits them out. Every player is one catastrophic injury away from never playing another game. From that perspective, players logically should try to squeeze every dollar out of every contract they make because a player's only guaranteed contract is his current contract.

    Again, I agree with your overall point that when the dust settles and all the posturing is done Bryant will sign - probably for an amount that is less than he wants and more than the Cubs want to pay (the hallmark of a good compromise). I also agree with MJVZ that Bryant doesn't owe the Cubs any favors and he has legitimate reasons maximize the value of this deal.

  • In reply to RSBeast:

    `I don't disagree that there are no guarantees but we're dealing in likelihoods here. Starting a year later makes it likely that it will take you a little longer to make the majors.

    Getting what you can now is desirable, nobody is disputing that. But if it comes down to going back to school because you didn't get that extra few hundred thousand, you are almost certain to lose that money and more if you go back to school if you are in Bryant's position. The reason is he is very unlikely to make up for it with his bonus because there really isn't anywhere for his value and leverage to go with another year of school. His value is more likely to go down and there's a chance that it can catastrophically go down. There's no realistic chance his value will go up significantly. He's at about peak value as an amateur player right now as the #2 pick with some leverage as a junior. So yeah, he needs to maximize that value, but there comes a point where he has to balance what he feels is his current value with the risks and rewards involved of going back to school. Is that risk/reward combo of returning to school a better bet than settling for something less than what Boras believes is his true value and getting to start his pro career a year earlier? We can certainly say that scenario working out for him is far less likely to work out than it did for Appel.

    You cannot deal in certainties so you have to play the odds. What are the odds that Bryant decides to not sign over a few hundred thousand, goes back to school and recoups that money by a) getting a larger bonus and/or b) getting to the majors faster? Certainly not odds that I would play. So while we can say you only deal in the here and now, I don't think we can truly extricate this decision from it's future implications.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I didn't mean to imply that he wouldn't sign over a few hundred thousand. In fact I never mentioned anywhere that he wouldn't sign. I think it is basically a mortal lock he does sign. But waiting until the deadline, when he has as much of the tiny bit of leverage that he does have gives him the best chance to get as many of those thousands of dollars that are in play as possible. And that is the smart way for him to approach it. He has no guarantee of a future contract. And the chances that taking a few extra weeks here might push back his FA timeline by an entire year is a far smaller than the chance that he never gets enough service time to even qualify for FA.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    I never said he shouldn't do that. I just questioned the wisdom of not signing over that type of amount if it came down to it.

  • If giving Bryant all that he wants means not signing our other top
    picks then dont sign him and get the 3rd pick next year.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Agreed because by giving Bryant all he wants we are saying that he is more valuable than whoever we pick at #3 next year plus Clifton, Graham and Poncedeleon.

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    You are neglecting the value of an entire year of player development. The Cubs are foolish if they pass up on Bryant to sign these guys. That's not going to happen.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Not worth losing Bryant over your 12th round pick.

  • fb_avatar

    The Cubs need to stand firm here. Bryant is going to sign, because to not sign is unthinkable. He stands to lose so much versus gaining so little, but I've seen people, including players and agents, do a lot of self-destructive things over the years. So nothing will shock me.

    I do know this much. The Baseball Gods are smiling on the Cubs in a way they haven't since the Dallas Green days. We have a good owner who has hired good front office people. Whether Bryant signs or not is irrelevant to me. If he doesn't, then I will take that as a sign that we're going to get something even better in the 2014 Draft with the 3rd and probably 5th overall picks.

    So in the words of the immortal Paul McCartney, "Let it be. Let it be. Let it be. Let it be. There will be an answer. Let it be."

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Michael, you're right. Let it be. I believe that the Cubs win either way.
    As Sir Paul also said, it's "a long and winding road".

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    I think everyone loses if he doesn't sign, but nobody loses bigger than Bryant. That doesn't make it more desirable for the Cubs, though. They still lose.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    You're right, John; all we are saying is that no one can control all the "what ifs".
    (Oops, I sounded like John Lennon there: "All we are saying, is give Theo a chance....")

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    I'm sure Bryant is having moments when he feels that yesterday all his troubles seemed so far away. But, now it seems as though they're here to stay.

  • This is just like last year with Boras using the exact same playbook. Both Almora and Bryant make public statements saying they'd love to go back to school, Almora to Miami for his freshman year, Bryant for his senior year.

    John, wrote a long time ago that Bryant will sign and I've been very comfortable with that. I don't despise Boras. He's doing his job. But I will despise him if he gives Bryant bad advice and he doesn't sign.

    It's all good -- until it ain't.

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    Exactly. I actually respect the guy for fighting so furiously for his clients. But I'm ready for the drama & nonsense created by the media to end and get this guy on the field already.

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    Yep, some playbook every year. Cubs know it well and they know where they hold the advantage. It will go down to the wire as Boras tries to get every last cent, which is his job, but not signing this year over a few hundred thousand or so would be foolish.

  • Jonah Keri ‏@jonahkeri 1m
    MLB "to suspend Braun...along with as many as 20 players sometime after next week's All-Star break, sources told OTL" …

  • In reply to North Side Irish:


  • Do they have to wait until Bryant signs to sign those other 3 guys? I don't entirely understand the pool money and who are the over/under slot guys - and if they are good prospects.

    By going to the wire with the Bryant signing are they risking not getting those other players? And is that worth it? How much would it piss Boras off if we signed the other 3 and then said, "here is what is left" take it or leave it.

  • In reply to Morgzie:

    Bryant is the priority so they want to make sure they sign him first. They don't want to get caught in a situation where they don't have enough money to get a deal done. They're trying to remain flexible.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Also, depending on the oversigning of those other players it could put the Cubs in the position of losing their first rounder next year. You have to have Bryant sign first (he will sign underslot to some extent) to ensure you don't go to far over and lose a draft pick, that is the worst case scenario because Boras really has you by the short ones.

  • In reply to bleedblue:

    Agreed. You don't need to give Boras anymore leverage than he already has.

  • Why Kris Bryant will sign: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • In reply to Eddie:

    That's the short version of this article ;)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    In the interest of brevity.

  • John, I figure you will have a go at the suspension rumors in a separate column, but I would like to hear your take on how the value of the Cubs' trade prospects will soar if the rumors of imminent post-ASG suspensions comes true.
    Maybe the FO would be wise to hold off on trades until the dust settles?

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    I think it's huge news and my first impression is that it would affect the trade market. That said, other teams may think the same way even if they aren't directly affected, they may want to get a deal done before the value goes up.

    The way I look at it is the Cubs have a high end predetermined price at which they will accept a deal. If a team gets nervous that their offer isn't good enough and fear waiting to see what happens when that shoe drops, then they may relent and pay that price.

  • When did 500k become a nominal amount of money? If you are a player and your 'pro baseball earnings bank' stands at $0, would you rather start your career with 3.5 million or 4 million? I understand the logic of arbitration raises and free agency being where the big bucks are but at this point in his career 500k IS the big bucks. He's essentially going to make the same amount the NL gold glove winner at 2nd made last year just by letting his agent (who's world class, love him or hate him) take it down to the wire. Just as there's no guarantee that he'd be drafted that high again if he went back to school, there's no guarantee he even makes it to a big free agent contract. The only guarantee there actually is right now is that he has a huge amount of money coming his way soon. Why not milk another season's worth of pay out of the deal before he has to go live in Boise Idaho and make $1100 a month? I'm sure he's hitting 450 foot bombs somewhere in Southern California anyway.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    What the article said is that it is a nominal amount when you compare it to the amount of money you stand to lose if you go back into the draft. It doesn't say that $500,000 is a nominal amount of money. Those are two different things.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Too bad you had to do so much explaining here. You explained things perfectly.

    I sent your last article on Bryant to MLB Trade Rumors to get them to link to it, to no avail. (Since they were promoting news at the time about Bryant potentially not signing, I asked them to consider another view.)

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    Thanks for that Jon. I don't think they do those kind of opinion pieces but perhaps they'll include me in their Baseball Blogs Weigh In segment?

  • Heard a rumor that he got married which may have slowed up some things.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Well, that's interesting. I wouldn't blame him for taking a little time off in that case.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    If he just got married, he may need that extra $100 to $500 grand.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Ha! ;) But he'll also need money now and cannot wait until next year. As I've said, I'm okay with him trying to get every penny this year. To be clear, I just think it's a bad idea to go back to school to try and make up that kind of money next year -- especially when it probably won't happen. I don't blame him for trying to get what he can this year.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree, going back to USD would be stupid. 1) He could get hurt and lose out big time. 2) He would be facing second-rate/amateur pitching instead of professional pitching. 3) He could meet or exceed this season's numbers and STILL drop down the draft boards due to better prospects in the '14 class. 4) He has nothing to prove down there.
    But if he mistakenly chooses to do that, I suspect the Cubs will still make the best of things next year with the #3 pick plus whatever position they wind up with from this season's record. A year ago, did anyone project Gray to go so high this year?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    He will need every dime.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    It's all Kevin's fault, you know...

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Yes I take all the blame.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I hope he married a Cubs fan and she makes him sign!

  • In reply to Larry H:

    That is key.

  • Who got married? Boras or Bryant?

  • In reply to svelocity:

    I'm guessing Bryant.

  • Are there any non-monetary benefits that Bryant will try to negotiate into his first contract?
    - Spot on 40 man roster
    - Something that gets him to arbitration years faster

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    In reply to Rosemary:

    all that stuff was banned in the new CBA.

  • In reply to Rosemary:

    Offering a 40 man roster spot or really anything to get him to the majors (and thus start his clock) is no longer doable under the new CBA, though they can't really know if the Cubs make a wink-wink agreement to say, call him up next year.

  • No Garza trade yet? means one of few things....

    A - Cubs want to look at more prospects..
    B - Other GM's worry about another injury.........
    C - New contract extension for Garza from the Cubs.....
    D - Cubs renovation project accidentally cut Theo's office phone lines

    MLB is reporting Garza trade should be similar of the Greinke trade last year......

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    it means someone's prediction of Garza being traded by 7:00 PM yesterday was ........ W...R....O....N...G

  • Bryant has to know that 1) missing 1 year's earnings in his career field and 2) hitting free agency being 1 year older that he otherwise would means that he stands to lose millions if he doesn't sign this year. So, let Boras play his little games for a few more days and then this little play will be over.

  • In reply to Eldrad:


  • Next years draft is VERY strong.

    Here's the thing, would you rather have Kris Bryant... or Tyler Beede with the 3rd pick next year. Because that's who it would be.

    1 - Marlins - Rodon (He is the clear 1 especially with Miami picking)
    2 - Astros - Alex Jackson (they are in love with him & took Appel this year)

    3- Cubs - Tyler Beede - Ace pitcher, instantly the Cubs best pitcher & #1 prospect - he is that good. But the best part is that he gets re-united with Derek Johnson his former pitching coach at Vandy and the Cub's pitching guru extraordinaire.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Read my explanation to Giffmo on that. You cannot assume you can measure and compare the long term value of drafted players with that degree of certainty.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I would take Tyler Beede right now over Kris Bryant.

    I think Bryant has a chance to be very good.

    Tyler Beede is a can't miss Ace. Especially with his Vandy pitching coach DJ guiding his development. Nobody knows Beede like DJ does.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:


  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    You may say that and that's your opinion, but that's not the same thing I'm talking about. We can all have an opinion but the Cubs have to make decisions on the best information available and to get as close to certainty as possible and that favors signing Bryant.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    RE: "the Cubs have to make decisions on the best information available and to get as close to certainty as possible and that favors signing Bryant."

    I agree 100% with you John, and I definitely wasn't trying to imply that we shouldn't do everything possible (within reason) to get Bryant signed.

    I'm just saying that if Bryant doesn't sign, it's a hiccup, not a setback, as the #3 pick next year will be solid.

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    In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Not signing Bryant is not a hiccup. It's a catastrophe. The Cubs spend a lot of money scouting players. You have no idea right now who the top three will be and for the record, since the Cubs have said that no player is untouchable in trade talks this year, they may do fine getting a top three pick next year regardless. This isn't just losing a year of development. It is losing a year of scouting and all the time and money that goes into scouting and drafting ans cross checking a player. And if you tell me that Ricketts' pockets are deep enough to handle it, please, by all means, tell me what qualifies anybody other than Tom Ricketts to make that statement.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    It's a setback to me, but I get what you are saying.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    The draft is deep and there are a lot of pitching.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    You can't be too sure of next year's draft order. From what I see the white sox are dropping like a rock. It is very likely that they are in the top 3 for next year's draft. Personally I don't think the Cubs are going to get the 3rd pick next June for having the 3rd worst record this year.

  • In reply to John57:

    We are talking about getting the 3rd pick from NOT signing Bryant, it's not about our record.... Ya' know the whole point of this article.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Sorry, I thought you were predicting the top 3 picking teams in next June draft.

  • For the record, I have nothing against Bryant trying to get what he can this year.

    What I was saying is that going back to school to try and recoup that next year is not worth the risk and probably isn't even profitable. In other words, lots of risk with little to no reward -- or even less reward.

  • I think this is a tough article to argue with if you read it carefully. There's no implying that Bryant is "wrong" for not signing yet or that the 100K is unimportant to him or anyone else. John's point is that financially it doesn't make sense for Bryant to re-enter the draft, since his position almost certainly will not be better (as Appel's actually was upon re-entering). He's also one year further away from a big league contract.

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    I don't see how Bryant gets anymore money from stalling things until the deadline. I think the Cubs have a number that they are willing to pay and won't pay more and its probably already been offered. Personally I don't care if he signs or not. I wasn't a huge fan of the pick I'd rather have had a pitcher and there will be much better talent available next year. I think you can measure the long term value of drafted players that is what the front office gets paid to do. It comes down to the 3rd round pick next year having more value than the 2nd round pick this year. I think they know what Bryant is worth to them and he will or won't sign but no one is going to be devastated if he doesn't sign.

  • In reply to Vinestal:

    Figures can change all the way until the end. And maybe Bryant doesn't get more than he is asking for now, but he doesn't gain anything by not trying to find out either.

    You evaluate the long term value players as best you can -- that is their job and they are better at it than most people on the planet, but to say they can know them with a high degree of certainty -- especially vis a vis the value of another player, just isn't true. It overstates the amount of information you can truly obtain on any player.

    The comp pick is considered a last resort only.

  • Arrieta pitches tonight for Iowa.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    Can't wait!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I have my beer and peanuts at the ready.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    I'll get myself a bourbon today. I'm not crazy about the camera angle, but I'll take what I can.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I've been to Zephyr's field a few times over the years, and I was wondering earlier this year why I never saw the outfield camera. I guess I know why...

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    On reflection, hard liquor might be a sound beverage choice if Arrieta continues to pitch this way the rest of the year.

  • In reply to Eldrad:

    yeah, that was not good.

  • All the reports are that Garza will be dealt, but I don't understand the comments that the Cubs "have" to trade Garza, or that his value will never be higher. I also don't understand why so many are so against the mere thought of signing Garza to a four or five year contract along the lines of the Anibal Sanchez deal. They gave Jackson (4.47 career ERA) $13M per year but people would rather have the Cubs grab the best current offer for Garza, even though no offers have been made to suit the FO, than extend him for $14-16M per year? Personally, I trust the new regime to either make a deal if they are blown away, or to walk away if no team steps up.

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    If Appell pans out losing a year head start on MLB service time will cost him far more than the $2.5 mil he gained in signing a year later. He lost a year of his prime career, plus starting the MLB clock a year earlier.

  • Russell might be going to Boston!......that is why he was show cased in last night's game.....Boston needs a LHRP.

  • What to look for in tonight's game.......if there are any good-byes said in the Cubs dugout.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Ha! The old goodbye hug. Definitely something to watch for.

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    I have expected Sappelt to get a start tonight in center...

    My pick to hit tonight is Nate. Wind blowing out toward CF.

    Arrieta starting tonight in Iowa.

    Bryant will sign. Not even worried.

  • Soriano with another Homer!

    C'mon SOMEBODY please take him, we will even throw in his salary and all we want in return is a good prospect (or two) and some international free agent money. That's nothing considering how he could help a AL club.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    He keeps hitting like this and maybe he has some trade value after all. He certainly seems to be getting some scouting attention now.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I think Texas is foolish not to deal for him. He has experience there and has shown the last couple of years, he can hammer as a DH. Texas may be a starter and a bat away from another WS appearance. It is time for them to pony up...Garza and Soriano for Olt, Buckel, Alfaro and Payano.

  • After seeing who the Cubs drafted after picking Bryant-Boras, I felt like the Cubs "underdrafted" to accommodate the high price for Bryant. There are so many very knowledgeable commenters on this blog who were calling out very talented players that were available when the Cubs made their picks thru the first 10 rounds, but Jedstein et al did not oblige. My feeling is that there wasn't going to be enough money available to sign these well known, quality picks because Bryant-Boras were not going to take much under slot value. And I am not going to rationalize the counter argument by putting down the commenters on this site to build up Jedstein et al.

  • I get everything that has been said, and although nominal in context, Bryant also loses his MiLB contract if he doesn't sign, so the $100k others said he should hold out for is really $30k, factoring in next seasons money,winter league money, and this year's pro-rated money. Factor in perdiem, etc., and it looks like a wash to me.

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    John, you've worked double overtime on this piece and handling the comments. Get yourself a nice rock of scotch, stat.

  • In reply to Jivewired:

    I got some bourbon today. Out of scotch ;)

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    I am a bourbon fan. My preferred choice is Blanton's Single Barrel. Try it some time.

  • In reply to Jivewired:

    I've had Blanton's. Good stuff. And the bottles are pretty cool too.

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    Cubs now have a +1 run differential on the year.

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    I'm not too worried about Bryant signing - in part because of some of things in your article and in part because I don't see him being a can't-miss guy that it would be devastating to lose given the comp pick in 2014.

    The only thing I wonder about is having strained relations with Boras, who has so many clients. But my feeling is that Boras will play ball with anybody if it's in his own best interest (regardless of the past) and if it's not, he won't.

  • John, thanks for a well thought out piece on Bryant. Here is what bugs me about Boras. Bryant is one slide into 2nd base away from a wrist injury or bad knee injury, as a couple of many possible examples. Anyone remember a guy by the name of Stewart? If I'm Bryant, am I going to risk millions over a few 100K? The Cubs take on the risk, right now, once he signs. If he doesn't, he takes all the risk. I know the odds are in his favor that something like that doesn't happen, but if it does, not only do those few 100K go up in smoke, but millions do. But Boras - what does he lose? A substantial amount, but he just goes on to the next client. Bryant goes on to what? So the Boras risk is peanuts compared to Bryant's, and he should be thinking more of Bryant, in what's at stake now, than himself.

  • Why shouldn't Boras and Bryant get every dollar they can? So Corporate Ricketts can keep it?

  • In reply to McGetts:

    That's already been explained. Nothing wrong with attempting to get what you can, but it's not like the Cubs are offering peanuts. Do you (if you're Bryant) want to bear the risk or do you want the Cubs to bear the risk? If I'm Bryant, I'm taking the offer and letting the Cubs bear that risk. Common sense needs to be part of the decision making.

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