Chicago Cubs: Kris Bryant ready to fight for CBA changes

MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 20: Kris Bryant
MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 20: Kris Bryant /

While he still has four years to go until he hits free agency, Chicago Cubs’ third baseman Kris Bryant is ready to fight for the changes he deems necessary in the CBA.

It doesn’t seem like that long ago that the Chicago Cubs were ready to bring up Kris Bryant–well, sort of–to start at third base. The Cubs waited for the entirety of eight games before calling him up in 2015, all to gain another year of control over Bryant.

The understanding that it is a business wasn’t lost on Bryant, but he also knows things need to change before he enters free agency. And that will come one year after the current CBA comes to an end, meaning he’s got a stake in this.

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The system is pretty clear. You’re under control for the first few years, with arbitration coming later. In his first year of arbitration, Bryant got a small raise up to $10.85 million. This isn’t small change, but his circumstances are rare. Bryant, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper are a few of the rare ones with that sort of talent.

Ready to dive in

For Bryant, with his feet now in the water–he’s prepared to take on more with the process as he told USA Today. 

"“I do see some big changes in the next CBA – stuff that we’ll have to fight for,” Bryant told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday. “I do know that I’d love to be more involved, because a couple years ago, I’m just coming up and trying to get a hold on things."

The “game” used to be simple. Pay players as little as possible throughout their time with a team, and then when they hit free agency? That’s when they would get that massive contract they were looking for. Maybe you would overpay for the final few years of a deal when a player got up in years, but that was part of the business. That was, until the owner got smart to it.

No big contracts…at least this year

This offseason, you didn’t see the big contracts handed out to players that you’ve seen in the past. $150 million plus over seven years? Nope. Even when players did sign a longer deal, it was for a smaller AAV. So now the teams aren’t paying them when they are young and have their best years, or when they have “earned” that deal. Although, unless you were the team that reaped the rewards from it, that never made much sense to me.

Now, this could be a matter of the market not being “flush” with talent. Next season, players like Harper, Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado and more will hit the market. So while this season saw a clamp put on spending? Next year you might get to see how far teams are really ready to spend.

Next: Rizzo knows the Cubs have something to prove

Don’t get me wrong. Players make entirely too much money. I get that. And it’s easy to say how we “won’t make that in a lifetime.” But what if you were in their shoes? Would you say “Nah, this amount in just fine for me.” I seriously doubt that. Say what you will now, but if you were them, you’d get what you can. It’s human nature, for better or worse.