Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs: Theo Epstein’s to-do list for 2017

Nov 4, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester (34) lifts the Commissioner
Nov 4, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester (34) lifts the Commissioner /
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Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

A contract extension for Bryant

Is there anything else that Kris Bryant can do to surprise us? His growth as a player continues, and there’s no question he’s everything the Cubs hoped for and more. Bryant isn’t eligible for free agency until 2022. But why wait? Epstein and the organization identified Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo as the young players they hoped to build around. And while Castro didn’t work out, the foresight to sign Rizzo was a tremendous move.

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The Cubs need to do the same with Bryant. According to a piece by Fox Sports in 2015, a player who gets four trips through arbitration makes around $20 million a year by the time they hit free agency. With the trajectory that Bryant is on, that might be a bargain. So the Cubs will have the choice of paying out in arbitration or helping decide Bryant’s worth on their own.

There will come a time for the Cubs when keeping all this young talent together will become a difficult task. But to have players like Rizzo and Bryant to build around? There’s not a team in baseball that wouldn’t take that. This needs to be one of the top priorities for the Cubs in the coming year.

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