According to a report from Tom Verducci, the Chicago Cubs attempted to extend several young players – and got ‘nowhere’ on every single try.
The Chicago Cubs’ young core represents one of the game’s premier groups of talent. For now, it means the team represents one of the clubs built for sustained success. But, long-term, it means big paydays are coming for several key players on the North Side.
Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci broke down the upcoming wave of young players across the game in a recent piece. According to Verducci, talks between the Cubs and several pieces didn’t go as we’d all have liked.
"The Chicago Cubs made runs at extending several of their young players this winter, including third baseman Kris Bryant, but according to one source, every one of those efforts “got nowhere.”"
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Contracts have continued to balloon over the past 20 years. It’s hard to imagine that trend slows down any time soon. Hence, Bryant (and other young players) aren’t overly eager to sign deals now that may look less-than-savory in five short years.
For example, look right across the Chicago infield at Anthony Rizzo. Very early in his Cubs career, he inked a seven-year extension worth just $42 million. At the time, it assured him financial security – and it came ahead of his breakout campaign, too.
It was a leap of faith for the Cubs organization – a big one that paid off. Now, his contract represents one of the most team-friendly deals in the game, even as younger players seek deals north of $100 million.
No progress doesn’t mean no deal
Now, that’s not to say Bryant and Chicago can’t come to an agreement before he hits the open market down the road. But looking at it logically, it makes sense that the third baseman wait a year or two, minimum.
Why? Simple. Two more MVP-caliber campaigns to his name, and Bryant’s value skyrockets to levels we haven’t seen at Wrigley Field in decades. It pushes his asking price higher and higher, leaving the Cubs in a corner: meet demands or risk losing one of the most talented players in Major League Baseball.
It’s not just Bryant the Cubs will look to lock up, either. Players like Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, Albert Almora and Willson Contreras could all be targets of the front office – and with good reason.
Just because these talks stalled doesn’t mean it’s time to panic. There’s still plenty of time on the clock for these discussions to continue. So breathe, Cubs fans. And, in the meantime, enjoy this batch of elite, young talent.