Cubs Owner & Bellinger's Agent Boras Exchange Verbal Shots

If the Chicago Cubs are going to win back the services of free agent outfielder/first baseman Cody Bellinger, things certainly don't seem to be trending in the right direction. Team owner Tom Ricketts and Bellinger's agent, the notorious Scott Boras, have gotten into a sniping match of sorts, through the media. 

No full-blown negotiations have taken place as of yet between the 2023 Comeback Player of the Year and his incumbent team.

Ricketts was asked if he's spoken with Boras about it.  

"I don't talk to Scott," Ricketts said, per Jesse Rogers of ESPN, at Cubs camp. "One of his signature moves is to go talk to the owner. When you do that, you undermine the credibility of your GM. Inserting yourself into that negotiation, I don't think that helps. I don't talk to him.

"I'm like everyone else. We're just waiting. Waiting for whenever he and his agent are going to engage. It could be any time now or it could be in a few weeks. We'll see where it goes."

Boras shot back that he doesn't know what Ricketts is talking about, disagreeing on the involvement of owners. 

"Free Agency is about recruiting players," Boras told ESPN. "It's the normal owner's signature move to be involved in the efforts of recruiting players and reaching out to me so I can convey to the player the ownership of the team covets them. That is the essence of Free Agency and it is a custom and practice for ownership to express commitment and involvement.

"When Cody was a Free Agent last year the Cubs engaged and were very aggressive in their pursuit. And their process is no different this year. So I am not clear as to what Tom is suggesting."

Boras is infamous for dragging out his player negotiations as long as it takes to squeeze every last single penny out of a team. He and Bellinger are said to be seeking a long-term deal worth at least $200 million. But it doesn't seem that the Cubs (or any other team, for that matter) are beating down Boras's door to offer that massive sum.

"Until they are ready to negotiate, there's not much we can do. We just have to wait for when it gets serious before talking about what the end money amounts are," said Ricketts.

Bellinger, the 2019 NL MVP, came off three disastrous seasons last year to post a very strong 2023 with the Cubs, batting .307 with 26 homers, an .881 OPS and an OPS+ of 133. 

Photo: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports