Bryant backs Boras, but he's happy with Cubs

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Cubs prospect Kris Bryant says he fully supports his agent, Scott Boras, who wants to see Bryant start the season in Chicago and not Class AAA Iowa. Bryant also says the Cubs have treated him well.

    Cubs prospect Kris Bryant says he fully supports his agent, Scott Boras, who wants to see Bryant start the season in Chicago and not Class AAA Iowa. Bryant also says the Cubs have treated him well. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 3/18/2015 11:59 PM

Kris Bryant seems to be walking a fine line quite nicely.

The Cubs' third-base prospect told reporters Wednesday morning in Mesa, Arizona, that he backs his agent, Scott Boras, while at the same time saying he's been treated well by Cubs management.

 

"Scott works for me," Bryant said, as quoted by csnchicago.com. "He does a great job. It's nice to have a bulldog working for you rather than a poodle."

Bryant has recently been at the center of attention because he has been leading all of spring training with 6 home runs. However, it's likely he'll open the regular season at Class AAA Iowa.

If the Cubs keep their No. 1 prospect in the minor leagues until mid to late April, they can save a year on his free-agency clock. Players must have six full years of major-league service time before they can become free agents. However, if the Cubs can keep Bryant's service time to fewer than 172 days this season, they can essentially get a "free" year of time out of him, keeping him for almost seven full seasons.

Boras, a high-powered agent, took issue with that on foxsports.com.

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"The Cubs ownership has a choice," he told the site. "Are they going to present to their market that they are trying to win? Tom Ricketts (the Cubs' chairman) said they were all about winning. When someone says it's the system, no, it's a choice -- the choice of winning."

The service-time issue is part of the collective bargaining agreement between players and owners. Bryant is not yet a member of the players association.

The 23-year-old has been slowed a bit this spring because of shoulder fatigue. The Cubs may say Bryant needs more work at third base at Class AAA Iowa in April before they bring him up.

Cubs president Theo Epstein shot back at Boras in the Fox report.

"Kris Bryant's development path has absolutely nothing to do with ownership, period," Epstein said. "As with all our baseball decisions, I will determine where Kris begins the 2015 season after consulting with members of our baseball operations staff. Comments from agents, media members and anybody outside our organization will be ignored."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Reports out of Mesa said Bryant was approached by reporters Wednesday morning before the Cubs' game against the Dodgers in Glendale.

"First off, the ownership here has been great to me," Bryant told reporters. "They drafted me second overall (in 2013) and treated me first class. I've had a great time. Tom is great to me. Everybody in the front office is great to me. I have nothing but good things to say about them.

"But at the same time, I'm hearing from my teammates that they all want me up and I'm doing well and everybody's telling me I'm progressing well. It's kind of sending mixed messages to me ... "It's always been a dream of mine to play in the big leagues and I'd like to get there as soon as possible."

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