Cubs Rumors: Kris Bryant expected to take his time in free agency

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Kris Bryant’s time as a member – and the face – of the Chicago Cubs is long gone. Really, the July 30 trade to the San Francisco Giants was years in the making. It all started with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer manipulating his service time back in 2015 and after the team didn’t approach Bryant with an extension offer after the spring of 2017, it was only a matter of time before we crossed that bridge.

Now, for the first time, Bryant gets to test the waters of MLB free agency in hopes of cashing in on the first (and if it’s long enough, last) high-dollar contract of his career. But if you’re thinking the former NL Rookie of the Year and MVP will make that decision quickly, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has news for you.

"“I don’t expect anything to happen quickly,” Zaidi said on KNBR. “Obviously we have a lot of interest in bringing him back, but we’ll have to respect how that process plays out and continue to be in touch with Scott Boras on Kris and a number of his other clients that are headed for free agency.”"

Per usual, Scott Boras will find himself at the center of a great many free agent conversations this winter. Just last week, shortstop Marcus Semien hired Boras Corporation to represent him in his foray into free agency, as well. While Semien might be on the Cubs’ radar, a reunion with Bryant almost certainly won’t come to fruition this offseason. But where he winds up and the path he takes to get there could still impact Jed Hoyer’s course of action.

The Cubs – for the first time in years – have tens of millions of dollars at their disposal (and, in reality, could easily drop $100+ million and still be comfortably under the luxury tax threshold). Starting pitching and the outfield figure to be the focus, but there’s really no area on this roster Chicago couldn’t stand to improve.

Chicago Cubs Rumors: Kris Bryant will be a hot commodity this winter

San Francisco will keep tabs on Bryant, said Zaidi – but they certainly won’t be alone. Sure, the usual suspects like the Dodgers, Mets, Astros and Red Sox could be at play, as well, but even teams like the Mariners, who are typically quiet when it comes to big fish free agents, could be in on Bryant after their failed in-season pursuit went south.

"“There’s a lot of teams that would love to have him and part of what made him such a great fit for us is his versatility, which only broadened his market,” Zaidi said. “It’s not like he’s only gonna be a target for teams looking for a third baseman or a first baseman or a corner outfielder.”"

dark. Next. Noah Syndergaard is definitely worth the risk this winter

To Zaidi’s point, Bryant isn’t a one-trick pony. In addition to his above-average bat and plus base running tools, this is a guy who can hold his own at five positions on a daily basis. That means you’re going to have all sorts of teams checking in on him this winter. But, if San Francisco brass is to believed (and there’s no reason they shouldn’t be), there won’t be any Kris Bryant news for awhile yet.