Can Scott Boras save face with a massive contract extension for one of young Reds players?

It's been a tough offseason for baseball's super-agent.

Cincinnati Reds infielders Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain
Cincinnati Reds infielders Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Many of baseball's best players are represented by the Boras Corporation. Scott Boras is one of the most powerful agents in sports and, according to Forbes, has over $3.8 billion in active Major League Baseball contracts under managements.

But Boras seems to have lost a step this offseason. His four biggest clients settled for much less in free agency than they'd hoped to procure. Blake Snell was reportedly offered a $150 million contract from the New York Yankees that he turned down. Snell ended up signing a two-year, $62 million deal with the San Francisco Giants.

Most recently, Jordan Montgomery, who starred on the biggest stage for the Texas Rangers last season, had to settle for a one-year, $25 million deal after seeking a contract similar to Tyler Glasnow (five-year, $136.5 million) or Aaron Nola (seven-year, $172 million). Both Matt Chapman and Cody Bellinger signed for much less than they expected as well.

Can Scott Boras save face with contract extension for Elly De La Cruz or Elly De La Cruz?

Maybe Boras' missteps this past offseason could work in the Cincinnati Reds favor. Two of Boras' clients just happen to play for the Reds. Both Elly De La Cruz and Matt McLain are represented by the Boras Corporation. Jonathan India is as well, but Cincinnati recently agreed to a two-year extension with the second baseman.

De La Cruz and McLain represent part of that young nucleus Reds fans are always talking about. Throw in Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Spencer Steer, Andrew Abbott, and Hunter Greene, and you begin to understand why the Cincinnati faithful are so bullish on their team's chances in 2024 and beyond.

But in order for a small market team like Cincinnati to remain competitive over the long haul, the front office will have to take some risks. Nick Krall and Co. need to target specific players, as they did with Greene last year, and offer long-term contract extensions to somewhat unproven players. It's a gamble, but if the Reds allow players like De La Cruz and McLain to hit free agency, there's virtually no hope of bringing them back to the Cincinnati. The big market clubs will gobble them up.

All of us have misplayed our hand at one point or another. It happens to the best of us. But what typically follows a blow to one's ego is an attempt to get back on top. Perhaps Boras' disappointing offseason could lead to some contract negotiations for some of the Reds key players.

Could Reds SS Elly De La Cruz match the type of contract Bobby Witt Jr. received?

McLain's injury throws a monkey wrench into any long-term discussions surrounding the former first-round pick, but if Cincinnati has faith that McLain will return to 100%, keeping the infielder in the Queen City for next eight-plus years would be beneficial.

De La Cruz has the potential to be a superstar. The Reds shortstop is a five-tool player and could be the face of the franchise for the next decade. Do the Reds have the courage to offer De La Cruz a similar deal to what Bobby Witt Jr. signed this offseason? The Kansas City Royals inked their star infielder to an 11-year, $288.7 million deal that could reach upwards of $377 million over 13 seasons.

It's common knowledge that Boras prefers to take his clients to free agency rather than negotiate extensions with their respective teams. But that's not always the case. Players like Jose Altuve, Stephen Strasburg, and Xander Bogaerts were represented by Boras and signed contract extensions rather than hitting the open market.

Nothing would bolster Boras' image more than sitting next to De La Cruz in a press conference at Great American Ball Park while watching the Reds shortstop sign his name to a $250 million deal. That's one way to get back on top, and it could work in the Reds' favor.

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