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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Kris Bryant turned down huge multiyear deal

The Cubs made an attempt to lock up Kris Bryant to a multiyear deal in the neighborhood of $200 million, but the superstar third baseman turned down the deal in recent months, a source confirmed to MLB.com on Wednesday. ESPN’s Dave Kaplan was the first to report the offer and its rejection. The club has not confirmed such an offer.

Bryant and agent Scott Boras are inclined to proceed on a year-by-year salary increase through arbitration before Bryant becomes a free agent after the 2021 season. Bryant earned a record $10.85 million in 2018, the highest salary a player has earned in his first year of arbitration.

Should Bryant plan to wait out his final four years of club control and hit the free-agent market available to all suitors, the Cubs could face a quandary of losing Bryant for nothing. In that context, Bryant might be a valuable trade commodity as former National League MVP Award winner who is under club control for three more seasons. Bryant, when healthy, is revered as one of the game’s best hitters, but he was limited to 102 games last year with nagging left shoulder and left wrist injuries, and he hit .272/.374/.460—all below his career average marks—with 13 homers.

Something to follow three years from now, to see what comes as a result.

 

QLE Posted: October 10, 2018 at 11:25 PM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: contract extension, cubs, dollah dollah bills, y'all, kris bryant

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Batman Posted: October 11, 2018 at 10:18 AM (#5764524)
Bryant sent their contract offer down to work on its defense for a few weeks.
   2. PreservedFish Posted: October 11, 2018 at 10:20 AM (#5764527)
Four years is a long time.
   3. Spahn Insane Posted: October 11, 2018 at 10:28 AM (#5764537)
It's also year longer than the three years remaining on the Cubs' control over Bryant's services. (Can't really fault a journalist for getting that wrong, though. Math is hard.)

But yes--whether three or four, it's a long time in baseball years, and until I have an idea of Bryant's longterm prognosis in regaining his pre-injury form, I'll hold off on forming an opinion as to whether the Cubs should be concerned by his pending-but-not-for-years free agency.
   4. Nasty Nate Posted: October 11, 2018 at 10:35 AM (#5764543)
But if they sign him to an extension, they face the "quandary" of losing him for nothing after 2025, so they should trade him....

Players don't become lame ducks, so I don't know how the line of thinking in the media developed that holds that it's a big problem now that a player might be on a different team later.
   5. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: October 11, 2018 at 10:47 AM (#5764556)
Players don't become lame ducks, so I don't know how the line of thinking in the media developed that holds that it's a big problem now that a player might be on a different team later.


It's the way fantasy sports have taken over reality. There is this growing idea that real teams should be run like our fantasy teams. That's how you wind up with shitshows like the Orioles or Marlins. You can't win so don't try.

We see it with championship teams too. This year's Red Sox have been hearing since about July "if they don't win it all what's the point?" We are so worried about what comes next that we don't enjoy the moment.
   6. Zonk is One Individual Posted: October 11, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5764570)
We see it with championship teams too. This year's Red Sox have been hearing since about July "if they don't win it all what's the point?" We are so worried about what comes next that we don't enjoy the moment.


Sure.

I'd very much like to see him extended long-term, but I'm not really sweating this nor do I actually hold it against him (or his agent).

He'll be a Cub for three more years and at that point, at worst - the Cubs will have pretty much the same shot at signing him as anyone else. I'll weigh in on that when the time comes - and it's entirely possible his price tag and the state of the team/team needs might even lead me to "thanks for the memories and fare thee well".

For now, I just hope he's healthy and back to his old self in 2019.
   7. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 11, 2018 at 11:33 AM (#5764588)
He'll be a Cub for three more years and at that point, at worst - the Cubs will have pretty much the same shot at signing him as anyone else. I'll weigh in on that when the time comes - and it's entirely possible his price tag and the state of the team/team needs might even lead me to "thanks for the memories and fare thee well".

He will be a Cub for two more years and then there will be a messy grievance that the Cubs will probably win in arbitration (getting one more year) while losing in the public sphere.
   8. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 11, 2018 at 11:38 AM (#5764590)
I posted it in the Gonfalon thread, but The Athletic has their sources adamantly denying this offer.

When things like this leak, I try to think about who benefits if this becomes a story. In this case, the spin is definitely pro-Cubs (look, we're trying to keep him! his demands are unreasonable) and Kaplan does seem to have a cozy relationship with the Cubs.
   9. Ziggy's screen name Posted: October 11, 2018 at 11:41 AM (#5764591)
That's how you wind up with shitshows like the Orioles or Marlins. You can't win so don't try.


Nah, the Orioles aren't not trying to win, they just don't know how. There's a fine line between malice and incompetence.
   10. Zonk is One Individual Posted: October 11, 2018 at 11:44 AM (#5764593)
I posted it in the Gonfalon thread, but The Athletic has their sources adamantly denying this offer.

When things like this leak, I try to think about who benefits if this becomes a story. In this case, the spin is definitely pro-Cubs (look, we're trying to keep him! his demands are unreasonable) and Kaplan does seem to have a cozy relationship with the Cubs.


It's been a few years since we've blamed Crane Kenney for something... I presume he's kept around for such purposes, so why not?

   11. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 11, 2018 at 11:45 AM (#5764595)
Kaplan does seem to have a cozy relationship with the Cubs

Kaplan generally knows what he's talking about but whether something constitutes a contract offer or whatever can be pretty context-dependent. So both sides can be kind of right at the same time, here.
   12. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: October 11, 2018 at 12:01 PM (#5764603)
The $200m number, without the years or any other details, smells a lot like PR baiting. It could be a reasonable first offer, or it could be completely ridiculous.

If it is 10 years / 200m including the arb years, it would be tough to see the upside there for Bryant's side. If he is already making 11m in arb1, he will likely average about 20m over the next 3. Then be in line for probably something like 10/300.

That would also take him through his age 39 season, rather than his age 36, at which point he would be unlikely to pull in another huge payday. Yeah, there is some risk mitigation with taking the guaranteed money now. But there is no way a Boras client is leaving an EV of ~150m on the table.
   13. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: October 11, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5764622)
Good. #### the Cubs, don’t reward them for their bullshit, KB.
   14. Zonk is One Individual Posted: October 11, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5764629)
Good. #### the Cubs, don’t reward them for their bullshit, KB.


Unless he retires or decides to play like crap for three years (which would defeat the purpose), he's going to be rewarding them for three years more.
   15. Spahn Insane Posted: October 11, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5764637)
Good. #### the Cubs, don’t reward them for their bullshit acting both rationally and permissibly within the prevailing system in accordance with the team's interests, KB.

FTFY.
   16. PreservedFish Posted: October 11, 2018 at 01:03 PM (#5764642)
acting both rationally and permissibly within the prevailing system in accordance with the team's interests

But they ... weren't doing that. He just needed to work on his defense. Unless that was what you were referring to?
   17. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 11, 2018 at 01:28 PM (#5764664)
The Cubs once again treated him like crap by offering him the highest first year arbitration salary in history. The record had stood for 10 years (Ryan Howard 2008).

   18. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 11, 2018 at 01:41 PM (#5764673)
Four years is a long time.


I read this in Andre The Giant's voice when he said being champion "Three years, it's a long time."
   19. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: October 11, 2018 at 02:37 PM (#5764713)
I will send you Julio Teheran and Dansby Swanson.
   20. bookbook Posted: October 11, 2018 at 03:42 PM (#5764768)
The Cubs offered him the highest first year arbitration salary in history because it was the lowest possible offer where they thought they might win an arbitration case. His play is worth a #### ton of money, much more than most in an arbitration situation.
   21. McCoy Posted: October 11, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5764798)
ThoseBastards.

What they do?

Gave me 11 million dollars.

Bastards.
   22. McCoy Posted: October 11, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5764801)
The Cubs and Bryant agreed to 10.85 for this year. It did not go to arbitration.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: October 11, 2018 at 05:19 PM (#5764827)
Sure, but I assume #20 is suggesting that if the Cubs thought they could win in arb with an $8 M offer, they'd have made an $8 M offer and stuck with it. Which is likely true. That both sides agreed that somewhere around $10.5-$11 M was probably gonna be a winning offer led to a settlement doesn't negate that argument. (None of us can negate either argument without being inside everybody's minds...)

His season this year kinda short-circuits his projected arb salaries. Bryant/Boras may be waiting to see where things go this offseason. If Bryant ends up at (say) $14 for next year, that means probably no more than $20 in 2020 and $26 in 2021. That's 3/$60 if things go right and now an additional (say) 6/$140 right now starts to look tempting. Boras will also recommend waiting to see what Machado gets and whether Arenado signs an extension.

In short, if it was an 8/$200 offer, Bryant probably should have taken it. If it was 9/$200, that's a reasonable starting point in a negotiation. "Recent months" is carrying a lot of the load there. If he turned it down in April, I fully understand. If he turned it down after the first trip to the DL, I fully understand. If he turned it down in Sept, that might have been a mistake. It wasn't a bad season but it wasn't a "special category" season and 2018 probably cost him something like $9 M in arb salaries the next 3 years even if he does rebound all the way. And unfortunately the truth is that by the time he hits FA, he might be a 125 OPS+ LF and dreams of $30 M AAV will be long gone. (He might also be coming off a couple of Christian Yelich 2018 type seasons and awaiting a massive contract.)

Many of us Cub fans suspect the concussion early in the season was more serious than the Cubs and Bryant let on. And we've seen lots of MLB careers derailed by concussions. He didn't look like the same hitter when he came back which is still most likely just a slump or maybe special Chili sauce not ongoing effects of the concussion. The plan is probably still 3B but it's possible the Cubs will sign Machado and move KB to the OF (even if that's in 2020 after trying Machado at SS for a year then deciding that didn't work so well).
   24. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 11, 2018 at 06:00 PM (#5764843)
There have been lots of great young players recently, whose play was worth a #### ton of money, who didn't get KB money.

Arbitration is the one area that teams seem to prefer to play nice, as the downside of the confrontational aspect of the proceedings outweighs the upside of saving a relative small amount of money.

   25. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 11, 2018 at 06:06 PM (#5764844)
Many of us Cub fans suspect the concussion early in the season
"It wasn't a concussion!!"
   26. McCoy Posted: October 11, 2018 at 06:42 PM (#5764858)
As you know if the Cubs truly thought they could get 8 million for Bryant in arbitration they wouldn't have settled at 10.85. They agreed to to 10.85 because they didn't want to risk winding up paying 14 million or whatever Kris was going to ask for and in the end both sides agreed to the number.
   27. Zonk is One Individual Posted: October 11, 2018 at 07:53 PM (#5764895)
Per Moses in Gonfalon -

Chili Davis is out, so I think that makes Bryant probably worth another 2-3 million next year and thereafter

/kiddingNOTkidding
   28. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: October 11, 2018 at 08:49 PM (#5764924)
the Cubs will probably win in arbitration (getting one more year) while losing in the public sphere.


I mean, if you're the Cubs, why would you care about this at all? You're the second-richest team in the NL, one of the three or four richest in the league, and almost nobody is going to abandon you for being a jerk to Kris Bryant. Win the arbitration case, and let a guy who's about to turn 30 move on. It's not that he wouldn't contribute in his early 30s, but the odds are that whoever signs him will be getting diminishing returns and paying him till he's 37, and the Cubs keep selling out every game and being one of the biggest TV draws in baseball.

That said, screwing around with his service time was a dick move and I can understand why he doesn't feel like signing an extension. It's just that it was, in a cold-blooded sense, the correct move. You'd rather have Kris Bryant at 29 and let him go than play him at 22 on a team that was going to lose 85 games anyway.
   29. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: October 11, 2018 at 09:04 PM (#5764931)
I'll throw in Charlie Culberson. Final offer.
   30. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2018 at 08:01 AM (#5764982)
Kris Bryant doesn't feel like signing an extension because he thinks he can make more money this way but because he doesn't like what happened at the start of his career.
   31. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2018 at 08:21 AM (#5764985)
Not, not but
   32. Lest we forget Posted: October 12, 2018 at 10:50 AM (#5765063)
I feel like the Cubs should be in the running for the World Series; had that feeling all year, that they would pull it off. They tied for the best record in the NL through 162. I think it's the Epstein mystique. There's something about that guitar playing, friends with Eddie Vedder, man-child.

It's Bryant's fault. Not only did he get himself injured, he didn't pull his weight when he got back.
   33. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 12, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5765068)
Because he was still very clearly hurt.
   34. Spahn Insane Posted: October 12, 2018 at 11:16 AM (#5765080)
That said, screwing around with his service time was a dick move and I can understand why he doesn't feel like signing an extension. It's just that it was, in a cold-blooded sense, the correct move. You'd rather have Kris Bryant at 29 and let him go than play him at 22 on a team that was going to lose 85 games anyway.

This nails it, in all particulars.

I don't disagree that Bryant has reason for some bitterness about having service time games played with (I'll even stipulate that it's a "dick move"), but, well, that's part of the double-edged sword of hiring Scott Boras as your agent**. Teams don't trust that his clients won't test free agency at the earliest opportunity (which, too, is fair), nor should they.

**Yes, I realize not all the guys whose service times are manipulated are Boras clients.

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