The current MLB lockout means no players will sign in the immediate future; none can until the lockout is over and it appears that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
That’s not going to stop rumors from flying, and over at Bleacher Nation Brett Taylor reports on one such rumor regarding former Cub Kris Bryant:
Robert Murray and Mark Carman had Chicago Sun-Times Cubs beat reporter Russell Dorsey on their podcast today, which makes for an interesting listen regardless of any specifics. But it was certainly a specific set of comments from Murray that happened to catch all of our ears today.
The trio were discussing the Cubs’ offseason so far, as well as the departures of certain core members of the team, and Murray clearly had something he wanted to drop into the discussion.
Murray said he was happy that Kris Bryant had come up because, “That is something I’ve been working on behind the scenes. I was told by somebody who would know Chicago: ‘I would not rule it out.’ And it’s been on my mind ever since. I’m tracking that one …. I do think Kris Bryant going back to Chicago is a realistic scenario. And the number you threw out – 27, 28 million bucks – makes a whole lotta sense …. ”
Yesterday I mentioned the idea of Carlos Correa signing a short-term deal with the Cubs and hitting free agency again at age 29. Many of you thought there’s no way Correa would do that and you could very well be right.
But what about Bryant? He’s more than two years older than Correa — KB will turn 30 next month — and does have six-plus seasons worth of history in Chicago, something Correa doesn’t.
The quote from Robert Murray is intriguing. $27 million or $28 million AAV for Bryant sounds in the “reasonable” range, it’s a bit more in AAV than the Cubs just paid to Marcus Stroman, and it would seem to be in the right, uh, “ballpark” for Bryant.
I doubt Bryant gets a 10-year offer. The time for such deals to 30-year-old players seems to have passed. Teams don’t want to do this and wind up with players at 38, 39, 40 years old to whom they’re paying big money for their decline years. This is one of the biggest reasons players are trying to negotiate earlier free agency for the next CBA, to get players paid when they are younger and at their peaks.
So how about this? Six years, $170 million for Bryant, with a pair of team option years at $30 million each. That way if he’s still producing at a high level at age 36 the Cubs could keep him, if not, he probably rides off into retirement at that time.
Regarding Bryant’s feelings about Chicago, these tweets from the day after the trade deadline should sum that up:
So, if you’re thinking that Kris Bryant has anything but good thoughts and feelings about the city of Chicago or the Cubs organization, think again. It’s clear to me that Jed Hoyer & Co. think the world of Bryant (and the other guys they traded at last July’s deadline) and would certainly bring any of them back at a) the right price and b) if they fit into the team’s future plans.
Re-signing Kris Bryant would certainly be popular with a fanbase that would like to hear some big news from the front office. Bryant might not be the Hall of Fame type talent that he appeared to be when he rocketed through the Cubs system, won NL Rookie of the Year honors in 2015 and was named NL MVP in 2016. But he is still one of the better players in baseball and if the Cubs do want to contend in 2022, he’d be an asset to the ballclub.
Obviously, at this time all of this is just speculation, because no free agents can sign right now. And depending on just how long it takes for a new CBA to be signed and the lockout to end, there could be a real frenzy of signings after the lockout is over and perhaps Bryant (or others) might sign deals for even less money than I mentioned. (Owners will be hoping for that, to be sure. Players, not so much.)
So, what do you think?
Kris Bryant returning to the Cubs...
This poll is closed
... the Cubs should sign him to a deal like the one mentioned in the article
... the Cubs should sign him, but it will take more in dollars or years or both
... the Cubs should not sign him. Been there, done that, pass
Something else (leave in comments)