Chicago Cubs: We can never fully shut the book on Kris Bryant rumors
At this point, we all need to understand that we’ll probably never hear the end of rumors regarding Chicago Cubs standout Kris Bryant and potential trades.
Earlier this month, when the Chicago Cubs welcomed the full squad to Mesa, Theo Epstein sat down with former National League Rookie of the Year and MVP Kris Bryant. The two covered an array of topics, namely Bryant’s recently-concluded service time grievance and long-standing offseason trade rumors.
Bryant emerged from that meeting feeling like he was a key piece to the puzzle for Chicago – and rightfully so. He turned in a solid showing last season, bouncing back from a 2018 performance that was marred by injury.
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"“One veteran scout at Tuesday’s game said a few teams were still looking at Bryant as a trade possibility one week after Bryant said he expects to start the season with the Cubs.”"
I don’t necessarily doubt that to be the case. There are a number of teams who would undoubtedly improve with Bryant in their ranks. But first-year manager David Ross is building his lineup around him – and I can’t see Epstein pulling the rug out from under him at this point.
After watching Chicago flail in their attempt to address the leadoff spot the last three years, Ross immediately named Bryant his leadoff hitter this spring. To say the least, his career .385 OBP should work wonders for the offense.
Given the organization came out on top in the service time grievance, Epstein now knows he has two full years of control over his superstar third baseman. What does that mean? If he comes out strong early in the year, his trade value could peak ahead of the July trade deadline. If he doesn’t, it may make an extension more palatable for the front office.
What does all this mean? We need to get used to Kris Bryant trade rumors. That’s nothing new to anyone who’s spent the last few months desperately clinging to any report, hoping to see if Epstein might tip his hand.
So buckle up. The season is still a month away, but we’re already getting a new round of rumors. Regardless of what the first few months of the regular season bring, this is the new norm for the Cubs.