Cody Bellinger’s new Cubs contract proves Scott Boras ruined his moment

Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs
Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

If Cody Bellinger's age-27 season, while on the precipice of free agency, had come 10 or even five years earlier, the baseball world would be unified around his masterstroke of timing. He would've been assured $150-200 million for his services, and would be perceived to be entering his prime years.

Unfortunately, Bellinger's first season away from the Dodgers occurred in 2023, not 2013, a time when every franchise has access to the same data set, with the same ability to produce a black cloud over an otherwise impressive campaign.

Super agent Scott Boras, someone the Dodgers avoid dealing with for good reason, held Bellinger out of camp through the end of February, along with his four other star clients (JD Martinez, Jordan Montgomery, Blake Snell, Matt Chapman). Perhaps it was an attempt to turn back the clock to a decade ago and quiet the "soft contact" noise until only the counting numbers remained. Perhaps Boras just jealous that he didn't control the fate of the offseason's biggest prize, Shohei Ohtani.

Regardless of the baffling intention, the slow play didn't work whatsoever. Bellinger returned to the Cubs on Sunday morning, the first of his group to take the plunge, on a three-year, $80 million deal. The contract features opt-outs after Years 1 and 2. In essence, the entire baseball offseason reached a standstill in December that concluded with a one-year deal. Brilliant work.

Cubs sign Cody Bellinger to three-year deal with opt outs. Good job, Scott Boras?

Bellinger and the Dodgers attempted to mend their relationship for likely a year longer than they should've; after the fateful moment where the slugger's shoulder popped out in celebration midway through the 2022 postseason, there was always something missing between the two parties.

But what should've been a feel-good moment -- Bellinger's 2023 resurgence in Chicago -- was marred by Boras planting absurd expectations in his client's head. Thanks to their incumbent status, the Cubs were the only team that could sign Bellinger this offseason without surrendering draft picks. If his agent had read the room instead of building his own echo chamber, he could've acknowledged the presence of troublesome metrics, offered Chicago a $140-160 million deal with differently structured opt outs, and gotten his client some semblance of the payday he deserved.

Instead, after doing everything right on the field in his walk year, Bellinger is set to either hit free agency in his early 30s, when the bounty will naturally be minimized, or try again next offseason, in the same cycle that features Juan Soto. Boras'll be busy.