Cubs: Kris Bryant is going to make this front office pay dearly

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

If you question Kris Bryant’s value, I question your sanity. This guy has checked every box in his Cubs career, winning Rookie of the Year, NL MVP, a World Series ring, earning three All-Star appearances and anchoring the lineup for the better part of a decade now.

But all folks seem to look to is the last year-plus, when he was playing through serious injuries in hopes of helping the team – and watching his production wane because of that fact. Now, Bryant is healthy and perfectly content letting the chips fall where they may when it comes to his future in the Windy City.

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With the Cubs down 4-0 on Monday in Atlanta, Bryant stepped in and belted a game-tying grand slam that helped erase another rocky start from Zach Davies. As he rounded third, he had a huge smile on his face – a rare display of emotion from the slugger, who raised his OPS on the year to .993.

"“I haven’t really changed much of anything,” Bryant said after the game. “It’s just knowing the fact that I have it in me to go out there and succeed and play this game that I’ve played for so long. I haven’t changed one thing at all. It’s just me.”"

The fact that we could very well be about two months from the end of Bryant’s Cubs career is enough to make me (further) question this team’s ownership and front office. We’re talking about a player who, when healthy, is one of the premier offensive talents in all of Major League Baseball. But that doesn’t seem to matter much to Jed Hoyer or Tom Ricketts – and those chickens will come home to roost unless the team changes course.

Cubs: Extension talks with Kris Bryant have been non-existent

This spring, we were told the Cubs were planning on sitting down with Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Bryant to talk about contract extensions. The talks with Rizzo couldn’t have gone worse – and the first baseman is now seemingly content to cut ties with the team at the end of the year.

Baez has left the door open on in-season talks, but given his struggles at the plate this season and a complete lack of plate discipline, it’s hard to envision Chicago giving him the kind of money he’d like in a deal. As for Bryant – it’s been complete radio silence on the extension front, hardly a promising sign.

As he’s shown this season, he’s more than capable of anchoring a lineup. But that doesn’t seem to matter to Cubs brass. Instead, Ricketts is seeing dollar signs at the chance to unload Bryant’s nearly $20 million salary at the deadline in a package of what I assume will be young prospects – similar to the team’s approach with the Yu Darvish trade this winter.

Next. 3 key takeaways from the Cubs so far this season. dark

If the team fails to lock up Bryant long-term, I fear that years from now, we’ll look back at the decision and talk about how it ranks among the worst in Cubs history. This is a guy you build around, not sell off in hopes of saving some money and rebuilding for the future.