Gordon Wittenmyer was on The Score this morning and stirred up some discussion about Kris Bryant and the Cubs’ financial situation. It’s fair commentary, in my view, especially in the middle of a slow winter, but I saw a lot of folks out there getting riled up. I really don’t see any reason to react to this with more than a knowing shrug.
#Cubs @KrisBryant_23 NOT coming back to #Cubs once he hits free agency says @GDubCub More than likely he is gone, the player gets 1 shot at this HUGE payday…Part of issue is #Cubs have to continue to buy pitching…
— Mully And Haugh (@mullyhaugh) December 18, 2018
I just don’t see the there there. Literally dating back to Bryant’s initial call-up to the big leagues, on the day the Cubs secured an extra year of team control, it was crystal clear that Bryant would not be signing any kind of team-friendly extension. And then as he showed everyone what he could do, it was crystal clear that he wouldn’t be signing any kind of extension that gives up free agent years shy of a price tag that was going to be way more than the Cubs would pay. Hence rumors of rejected extension offers for years (including most recently this past year, reportedly over $200 million).
An extension has never felt like a realistic fit.
Because Bryant was a college draftee on the older side, and because of that extra year of team control, you have to keep in mind that he’s not currently slated to hit free agency for three more years when he’s heading into his age 30 season. In no world am I going to suggest that the Cubs wouldn’t love to have Bryant’s age 30, 31, 32, etc. seasons locked up, but I also don’t want folks to lose sight of what is already in place: three more years – probably the best years – of Kris Bryant as a Chicago Cub.
For me, for now, that’s just fine. I’m not freaking about what might happen – OK, is very likely to happen – in three years.
I just want to see the guy come to Spring Training healthy and hungry for another huge season in 2019.