After a throng of media dispersed and left the Grand Ballroom of the Huntington Convention Center, Scott Boras approached one of his clients, Josh Bell.
“Show ‘em the boots,” Boras joked, wanting Bell to show off a pair of tan boots that he paired with cream-colored pants and a baby-blue blazer.
In addition to the boots, it sounds like Boras also would like for Bell’s employer, the Pittsburgh Pirates, to show his client the money.
And Boras appears skeptical whether that will happen.
During media day, Boras talked to the Post-Gazette about Bell’s contact and what, if anything, might happen over the next three years, during which the Pirates have contractual control over Bell.
The first subject included the possibility that the Pirates could buy out a few of Bell’s arbitration years by working out a deal sooner rather than later. It sounds like that ship already might have sailed.
“Pittsburgh really doesn’t have a history of giving star player contracts yet,” Boras said. “Maybe they will someday. They’ve had a history of signing players before they’ve evolved into stars.
“Actually taking a star player and saying, ‘We’re going to commit long term,’ the current administration and ownership hasn’t had a history of saying we’re going to go out and invest in a great young player for a long time.”
We can sit here and debate the star status of players when the Pirates signed them to longer-term deals, guys such as Andrew McCutchen and Gregory Polanco, but it might mean missing Boras’ point.
Right or wrong, he’s using recent examples of Gerrit Cole and McCutchen to say that he thinks the Pirates are skittish about signing their stars, an assessment with which a large part of their fan base likely would not disagree.