Chicago Cubs: What happens next with Kris Bryant’s grievance settled?

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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Play the waiting game?

The Cubs could also wait to trade Bryant until the July 31 deadline. If they are out of contention, they can look to flip him for value before he enters a walk year. Of course, keeping Bryant on the roster would make for a different sort of chain reaction.

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Epstein and owner Tom Ricketts have given every indication they want to get below the luxury tax prior to the start of the season. It is a major reason Epstein did not re-sign Nicholas Castellanos while inking just two major-league deals this winter.

Roster Resource projects Chicago’s payroll to be just over $214.5 million, which is more than $6 million over the CBT threshold. Bryant is the Cubs’ best option in terms of shedding payroll while also acquiring future assets.

The Cubs could always eat the bill for 2020, but doing so would contradict the reasons for hardly spending in the first place.

All of this is to say: if the Cubs do indeed retain Bryant, the maneuvering is likely far from finished. Willson Contreras could still be on the move, and the Cubs might even pivot to trading Jason Heyward and paying down some of his salary, if necessary.

Cubs' future might depend on strong start in 2020. dark. Next

There are still questions as to how the Cubs will get below the CBT and build for the future. In many ways, the offseason has only just begun.