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2019 MLB Winter Meetings: Day 2

Waiting on a Kris Bryant grievance decision, and a new rumor about a KB trade possibility.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

The Winter Meetings began with a big signing deal announced Monday, the Washington Nationals re-upping with Stephen Strasburg:

Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals have reached agreement on a seven-year deal, the team announced. Sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan that the value of the deal is a record-setting $245 million.

Strasburg’s deal has $80 million in deferred money -- about $11.4 million a year. The deferred money is payable from 2028-30.

The Nats are big on these sorts of things. The contract they gave Max Scherzer prior to the 2015 season also had a fair amount of deferred compensation, and the Nats are also apparently trying to re-sign Anthony Rendon with a similar deal. So far, Rendon hasn’t taken them up on it.

Meanwhile, the possibility of the Cubs trading Kris Bryant appears to be on hold until his grievance is resolved. From Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein:

“I think we’re fairly confident in what the outcome is going to be,” Epstein said Monday night in response to Bryant’s grievance, filed on behalf of the Major League Baseball Players Association. The grievance alleges the Cubs manipulated the start of Bryant’s service-time clock by sending him to Triple-A Iowa after spring training in 2015 before bringing him up to the majors on April 17 after the Cubs had played eight games.

“But the timing, I guess, is a bit frustrating,” Epstein said. “It would be nice to know. We’re at this point in the winter meetings and there hasn’t been a ruling. And I understand these things take time. I think certainly it’s not going to be more than a couple weeks away. It would be nice to have that final confirmation. But I think we’re operating with what I think is our understanding of what the likely outcome will be moving forward.”

It is somewhat surprising that we are now almost five years past the time when the alleged manipulation of service time happened, and still waiting for a resolution.

Theo Epstein’s quote above seems to indicate he’s confident that the Cubs will win this grievance and they can move forward knowing that Bryant has two years of team control remaining. Whether that results in him being traded or not is still up in the air.

This article posted overnight says that the Nationals might be in the Bryant market:

On Monday, the Nationals signed Stephen Strasburg to the richest pitching contract in Major League history.

The reigning World Series champions likely aren’t done making major moves this winter -- even if they don’t re-sign MVP finalist Anthony Rendon to play third base.

In fact, the Nationals have made an initial inquiry to the Cubs about trading for third baseman Kris Bryant, sources say.

The plot thickens.

I’m not sure what a complete package from the Nats for Bryant would include, but it would certainly have to begin with Victor Robles.

Use this thread for Winter Meetings discussion all day; again, if the Cubs make any sort of move there will be a separate front-page article.


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