It’s no secret that we’ve all become weary of the Kris Bryant trade rumors. I mean, we have to write them up – we have to – but after almost two years of it, I just want something to happen. It doesn’t have to be a deal, but just some definitive CLARITY, so that I can mentally and emotionally lock into “this is what the future will look like with respect to Bryant and the Cubs.”
Absent that, it’s been kinda hard to even think about the things you’d normally be into at this time of year – can he bounce back? what would a platform year look like for Bryant? what really went wrong? etc. It’s exhausting.
I knew that, shy of a trade – that’s as definitive as it gets – we were going to get only so much from the Cubs on what is coming, but today, President Jed Hoyer gave us about as good as we can get at the start of Spring Training:
Jed Hoyer just now: “Right now we’re not engaged in any trade talk and we haven’t been for a bit.”
“So that Mets stuff was inaccurate?”
“That’s what I’m saying.”
Suggests team should look similar to now come opener.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) February 16, 2021
Note that the “Mets stuff” is a reference to reporting out of New York last week that talks between the Cubs and Mets on Bryant had kicked back up recently. When Justin Turner signed and there were no follow-up rumors involving Bryant, it sure *felt* like that was that, but it means a little more coming from Hoyer in this way.
So, then. Yes, things can happen in Spring Training, but it tends to be the case that huge trades that dramatically impact two rosters and two budgets just don’t happen in the spring. Hoyer couldn’t say for certain nothing would happen – some team might suffer an injury and make a call – but I reckon this is as close as he could get.
We can safely think about the 2021 Cubs as featuring Kris Bryant at third base in his walk year. What that’ll mean for the Trade Deadline or after the season, well, that’s gonna be up in the air for a while. But just like this time last year, we can exhale and say, OK, time to just hope Bryant kicks ass as a Cub.