Agent Scott Boras and MLB disagree over whether the league’s teams lost money during the pandemic-shortened, spectator-less 2020 season. Speaking with Jon Heyman of MLB Network and other reporters Tuesday, Boras declared that clubs “lost profits” last season, but they didn’t lose money. Per Heyman, a league spokesman responded that “clubs lost $3B — $100M per team.” It now appears the league and the players side are in for another few months of disagreement over whether to play a full schedule in 2021. MLB reportedly wants to push the season back, which would mean a second straight shortened season. That would cost the players money, though, so they’re currently not open to the idea of playing fewer than 162 games next year.
Boras, for his part, remains upset that the league’s teams only played 60 games in 2020. “I was very disappointed we didn’t play 100 games at minimum, 120 games, in 2020,” he said (via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News). Boras is of the belief the league can return to its normal slate going forward, as he stated: “We now know we can play the game and we can do it safely. And with the vaccine coming, we can play it at an even higher level of safety. It’s not a question of whether we can do it. We’ve already done it. That unknown has been erased.”
The ever-outspoken Boras had plenty more to say during his discussion with the media. Here are some other highlights…
- Boras asserted that the low-budget Athletics will need “an insurgence of a small amount of money” in order to sustain success, and they can’t simply rely on a potential new stadium for that, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle relays. That “insurgence” doesn’t appear as if it’s coming this offseason. According to Slusser, the A’s have been telling agents that they don’t have much to spend, which is especially alarming for a team facing the losses of several key free agents (Marcus Semien, Liam Hendriks and Tommy La Stella are among them). In better news for the club, Boras announced that third baseman Matt Chapman has been cleared for increased activity and should be ready for spring training. Chapman underwent hip surgery in September, at which point Boras said he’d need 12 to 16 weeks to recover.
- Although Cubs third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant has been the subject of trade rumors this offseason, Boras seems to be under the impression he’ll remain with the team for another year, per Heyman. On Bryant’s future, Boras said (via Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune): “That question probably will be very clearly addressed at the end of ‘21, because we’re going to know a lot more about what Jed (Hoyer) wants to do, and also about the continuance of Kris Bryant’s excellence in a baseball uniform.” The Cubs would be selling low on the former MVP, who’s due a projected $18.6M salary in his final season of team control. Many clubs may deem that too rich after Bryant endured uncharacteristic struggles last season.
- Likewise, Boras doesn’t expect the Rays to trade left-hander Blake Snell.
- MLB introduced the universal designated hitter in 2020, but even with free agency underway, there has been no official word on whether it will return next year. Boras advocated for it to come back and took a shot at the lack of clarity from the commissioner’s office, saying, “Maybe in the commissioner’s office, the DH may stand for dragging their heels.” He also believes it’s “absolutely necessary” for the league to stick with expanded rosters (via Tyler Kepner of the New York Times and Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register).