Kris Bryant open to long-term extension with Chicago
Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant has had his name frequently circulated in the rumor mill in the last few weeks, but he may be open to signing an extension with the Cubs.
Scott Boras–who has an immense clientele base that includes Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg and Bryant–held court at the GM meetings on Wednesday, stating that Bryant would negotiate with the Cubs on the premise of a “fair market:”
Scott Boras said he is open to discussions on an extension for Kris Bryant . “ We have always said to them that has always been Kris’s philosophy with the team.” Boras said Bryant would expect fair market value in any deal agreed to.
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) November 14, 2019
This is going to be a tumultuous offseason as far as Bryant is concerned. The 2016 NL MVP filed a “service time” grievance against the Cubs that should play out over the next month or two, all the while he will have to hear his name in trade rumors.
Bryant said back in Spring Training that he would ideally like to spend his whole career with the Cubs (via Jordan Bastian of MLB.com):
“Absolutely,” Bryant said. “I think any time you can show a loyalty to the team that drafted you and you came up with, and you established relationships with all these people, any human being would want to do that. It’s no secret that everybody in this clubhouse loves playing in Chicago.
“We love everything about the organization. Everybody in this clubhouse would want to finish their careers with this team — myself included.”
However, there were also reports last October that Bryant had turned down a multi-year extension worth over $200 million.
The 27-year-old had another nice campaign in 2019 (.282/.382/.521 with 31 homers) after being hampered by shoulder injuries in 2018.
But Theo Epstein has made it clear that the team will not be able to retain all of their controllable players, and that they are hoping to usher in a new generation of talent and replenish the farm while remaining competitive. Trading Bryant could very much be part of that equation.