Chicago Cubs: Kris Bryant still means a lot to this franchise

Kris Bryant / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Kris Bryant / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

Kris Bryant has been the center of trade speculation for the Chicago Cubs this offseason. Yet we can’t forget how much he has meant to this organization.

I’ll never forget that feeling I got when Michael Martinez hit that slow grounder late at night on November 2, 2016. “This is gonna be a tough play,” announcer Joe Buck proclaimed. My heart sank. Would a lifetime of frustration for the Chicago Cubs continue because the Cleveland Indians got a lucky hit? Thankfully, Kris Bryant was able to field the ball cleanly and fire it to first in time, despite slipping on the grass as he made the throw.

That is just one of many iconic moments that Bryant has given us during his five-year tenure with the Cubs. Throughout one of the most successful stretches in the history of this great franchise, Bryant has been right in the middle of all the action. He came up early in the 2015 season and put together a rookie season for the ages, winning National League Rookie of the Year.

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The next season, the right-handed hitter played a key role in guiding the Cubs to their first championship in 108 years. He put together an MVP season, providing value both with his bat and with his willingness to play multiple positions to help the team.

He also a personality that has allowed him to become a star in Chicago. During those two years, and ever since, he’s come up with plenty of big moments that have caused Cubs fans everywhere to cheer.

That is why it’s such a shame that Bryant could become the latest Cub whose career with the team ends on a sour note. His name has come up in all kinds of trade rumors due to the team’s desire to trim payroll, while his service time controversy has complicated matters even more. I’ll admit that I’m guilty of discussing Bryant rumors myself.

As I’ve seen all the Bryant discussion this winter, I can’t help but think about Sammy Sosa, whom I idolized as a kid but whose antics late in his tenure with the Cubs caused me (and many other fans) to turn against him. I’ve also seen Mark Grace and Greg Maddux, two of my all-time favorites, leave via free agency and have much more success elsewhere.

Stories like that of Ryne Sandberg, who ended his career with the iconic franchise that made him a star, have become the exception to the rule. As much as we love the game of baseball, so often the business side of things gets in the way, and we’re seeing that again now.

dark. Next.

As much as I would like to see Kris Bryant stay with the Cubs for the rest of his career and continue to be a star on the North Side of Chicago, I understand that in order to keep the franchise competitive long-term, his days with the team may be numbered. Still, even if he leaves this offseason or via free agency in one or two years, I hope that Cubs fans everywhere never forget what he has meant to us fans.