Cubs: Kris Bryant got a text saying he’d been traded to the Mets

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Trade rumors aren’t anything new to Kris Bryant. For essentially half of his Cubs career, he’s been the subject of such speculation – and it’s only gotten worse with time.

This offseason, though, took things to another level – with Bryant tied to the Dodgers, Braves, Nationals and Mets are various points. Whether or not you put any stock in the reports that surfaced throughout the winter is up to you.

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But there was clearly some meat on the New York connection, because at one point, the Cubs star got a text from an unknown number welcoming him to the Mets organization.

Bryant immediately called his agent, Scott Boras, and then got in touch with Chicago president of business operations Jed Hoyer, who assured him he wasn’t headed to the Big Apple. When speaking to the media this week in Arizona, the former NL MVP praised Hoyer’s transparency and open lines of communication, while reiterating he’s not looking at 2021 any differently.

"“I approach every year kind of the same,’’ Bryant said. “I feel like every year is a free agent year, just personally how I approach the game and how I approach my personal life.”"

Now, I still think the Cubs wind up trading Bryant by the trade deadline. He’s due nearly $20 million this year and I think Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez are far likelier to sign contract extensions this spring.

Cubs: Kris Bryant looking to make a big-time statement this season

Like Baez, Bryant struggled badly last season. He was overpowered by very hittable fastballs up the zone and finished the year with a .206/.293/.351 line. Statcast pegged him near the bottom of the league in pretty much every metric – not what Bryant or the Cubs had hoped for after his 2019 season ended early due to an injury.

While the praise for Hoyer and the story about the Mets’ text message have garnered most of the headlines, I couldn’t help but read this remark as a passing shot at the Cubs organization. Maybe I’m totally reading into something that’s not even there. Who knows.

"“You look at the Dodgers, and they’ve got lots of money over there, and they just won a World Series, too,’’ Bryant said, “so they’re doing fine. It’s pretty cool to see the Padres step up and make big signings and trades. There was a point where this team was doing that too. I’m sure it will happen in the future. I don’t know what direction or what they want to do. I just show up and play and do what I do here.’’"

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That doesn’t sound like a guy who’s all that thrilled about the moves or direction of the franchise right now. He’s here to show up, put up his numbers and get paid. For now, the Cubs are writing those checks. But I doubt that’ll be the case past 2021.