I can’t ignore my own role in the trade rumor ecosystem. So long as sports permit trades, we as fans are going to be interested in them. They are one of the most instantaneously transformative aspects of sports, so any little morsels we can get about what MIGHT happen, well, it’s going to interest us. I don’t really expect any fans to apologize for it, but I always think we can recognize the humanity at play for the guys at the center of the rumors.
I’m not sure that’s more true for any player in recent memory than Kris Bryant, who has been the subject of intense trade rumors going back two years now, with nothing to show for it but a cascade of subsequent rumors.
Bryant was on the Red Line Radio podcast and talked about the impact all the rumors can have on a guy’s psyche when he’s just trying to play baseball. It’s just not realistic to expect a guy to tune it out for years, and to have zero impact on his enjoyment of the game. So, it’s a bummer, but yes, all the noise has made it harder for Bryant to enjoy playing baseball:
The Kris Bryant interview is LIVE @barstoolchicago
— Barstool Carl (@barstoolcarl) January 21, 2021
Bryant does not like all the trade rumors. No surprise there, and I can empathize. And to be even more fair to him, the pandemic, the struggles in 2020, the injuries the last couple years, the team’s overall performance, and the service time grievance … he’s had a lot of reasons not to be able to just go out and have fun playing baseball.
Unfortunately, the reality is that Bryant is now down to one more year of team control on a team that is clearly trying to cut as much salary as possible, while getting some useful long-term pieces in return. The trade rumors are not going away, and that’ll continue right up until the Trade Deadline if Bryant is still around by then. Sucky reality indeed.