Boras on Arrieta's '15: He 'put it all together'
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Jake Arrieta's agent, Scott Boras, enjoyed watching the Cubs' right-hander post the best season of his career in which he led the Major Leagues with 22 wins and compiled a stellar 1.77 ERA in 33 starts.
"I think the biggest aspect of Jake is, it's kind of come together at a time in his career -- it's really not a lot different than [Max] Scherzer," Boras said Wednesday during a media session in the lobby of the Boca Raton Resort and Club. "But Scherzer, in his fourth season, he really had that Cy Young kind of year. ... I think a lot of people in baseball knew that Jake Arrieta had special skills. It was really nice to see him put it all together."
Arrieta also set personal bests in wins and ERA, as well as starts (33) and innings pitched (229), which was 72.1 more innings than he totaled in 2014. Arrieta is a fitness freak. Is there a concern that he did too much in 2015?
"When you talk to the doctors that do this, they're always going to tell you, once you get 30 or 40 innings above where you were the year before and you've never been there before, there is always a concern," Boras said. "The percentages of it are that some are just fine with it, and they weather it, and go through it, and some are affected by it."
Boras also represents Cubs rookies Kris Bryant and Addison Russell, part of what the agent called the Cubs' "budding garden of talent." Bryant did play some outfield, but Boras liked how Cubs manager Joe Maddon wanted the rookie to keep his infield arm slot when he was making his throws, no matter where he was playing.
"Kris is such a great athlete that he is really competent in those positions, so it gives the manager the versatility," Boras said. "I think Kris enjoys providing it. Usually as a career goes on, those alterations become more limited in what they do. I think he's certainly established himself as a fine third baseman."
Bryant did not make the Cubs' Opening Day roster, playing seven games with Triple-A Iowa before he was promoted to replace injured Mike Olt. There was much discussion during Spring Training regarding service time and Bryant, and whether he was ready for the big leagues. Obviously, Boras wanted Bryant on the Opening Day roster.
"I think Kris proved his point that he didn't need any further Minor League [time]," Boras said of Bryant, who is a finalist for the National League Rookie of the Year. "I guess you could argue those seven games dramatically allowed him to improve. I think he proved his point that he's an All-Star player and a huge part of the franchise.
"Our point was that, in the game, it's good for Kris and the fans that they understand that the rules of the game often allow teams to do things that are unrelated to the best interests of the team or the talent, the true talent evaluation of the players," Boras said. "It's perfectly appropriate under the rules for clubs to say that they can do that, but I just think we need to have better rules and have a better ethic to it. In the end, we want to make sure our fans know that the best players are always playing in the big leagues, all the time."
Boras said he met last week with Russell, who missed the NL Championship Series because of a hamstring injury. They've developed a workout plan for the young shortstop along with the Cubs' staff.
"He's going to be in tip top shape when he shows up [in Spring Training]," Boras said.