After an offseason of rumors that had him traded long before any kind of actual deal materialized, Kris Bryant reported to camp this weekend still a member of the Chicago Cubs.
How much longer will that be the case? Well, gut says it’s so unlikely that a star like Bryant can realistically be moved during Spring Training that he’s at least going to open the season with the Cubs. From there, it all depends a great deal on how the team performs in the first half and whether there’s some monster Trade Deadline offer coming for Bryant.
In either case, Bryant indicated this weekend that he would appreciate at least getting some kind of heads up about his status with the team (we all would, I think), which would allow him and the Cubs to just focus on the season ahead with a singular focus.
Although there are never any guarantees given the unknowns that can develop on the trade market, it does sound like Bryant did get some piece of mind from his post-press-conference chat with Theo Epstein:
Correct, Bryant did not say he was given a guarantee. He was just asked what he believes, based on their discussion.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) February 18, 2020
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) February 18, 2020
I’ll gladly take that update, for what it’s worth.
I think the Cubs had to be very open to shopping Bryant this offseason, and I still think they have to have an open mind going forward. But, right now, with Spring Training underway and a hey-they-could-actually-win season ahead, I want to see everyone together in knowing that Bryant is here right now. He’s a Cub. And when the games that matter get under way, he’s still going to be a Cub.
To that end, Bryant may have unintentionally crafted an unofficial slogan for the 2020 team when discussing his readiness to go to battle this year after two seasons of disappointment:
Let’s go. I’m ready to focus on this team and what they *could* do in 2020, regardless of what did or didn’t happen in the offseason.
Strap it on.