Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Friday, February 26, 2021

Kris Bryant Open to New Deal, Knows Time as Cub Could Wind Down

Bryant said he is open to signing a long-term contract to remain with the Cubs before his deal expires at the end of the World Series.

“I’ve always said I’ve been open and willing to hear whatever Jed now has to say and would take it with open arms and consider everything that is thrown my way,” he said. “I think I’ve communicated that well with them. They know where I stand.”

But there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding the Cubs, particularly when it comes to some of their biggest stars.

Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Báez have expiring contracts. All three struggled during the pandemic-shortened season. But they all have played huge roles in transforming the long-suffering franchise into a championship organization.

They helped lead the Cubs to a World Series title in 2016, ending a drought that dated to 1908. But the organization is in transition.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 26, 2021 at 11:18 AM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, kris bryant

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Walt Davis Posted: February 26, 2021 at 04:20 PM (#6006922)
Objectively, Bryant is a tough one to value and one where you have to decide how much predictive value his early performance has. On paper, he's George Springer but a year younger at FA and a bit higher on the D spectrum. You might think 6/$150 or better would be in the bag. But 2018-20 is just 1240 PA, 6 WAR, 2 WAA -- a good player but more a 3/$50 type. In contrast Springer had 11 WAR, 7 WAA entering FA. Bryant needs a big year to have any hope for big money.

Then when I put on my Jed hat, I have to admit the team looks weak over the next few years unless Ricketts is gonna spend really big. The Cubs almost always have one "big" star to keep fans engaged and Bryant probably is the best fit, but Theo didn't bother with that so maybe Jed won't either. I was expecting Jed to be more active this offseason so I'm not sure what the plan really is. Still a weak division, maybe the Cubs can rebuild without a tear-down.

Personally I'm a big fan of Bryant, Javy, Rizzo and Hendricks so if we're gonna suck, I'd rather suck with those guys on the roster and it's not my money.
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 26, 2021 at 04:31 PM (#6006923)
The Cubs almost always have one "big" star to keep fans engaged
Alfonso Soriano is presumably available.
   3. dejarouehg Posted: February 26, 2021 at 05:09 PM (#6006929)
Personally I'm a big fan of Bryant, Javy, Rizzo and Hendricks so if we're gonna suck, I'd rather suck with those guys on the roster and it's not my money.


Agree 100%, though if I'm the Cubs, not making any contract commitments until mid-season when Javy proves he won't chase every slider in the dirt, Bryant is healthy and productive and not drinking the Boras Kool-Aid (though how great would it be if he became a top 10 player again!!!!), and Rizzo reverts back to the norm.

   4. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: February 26, 2021 at 08:23 PM (#6006940)
Rizzo has obviously been a very good player for the Cubs, but at the age of 30 with his bat I wouldn't want to sign him to any kind of long-term deal -- even 5 years might mean you're trying to squeeze all his value out of the first couple of seasons he gives you.

Really, the only one I'd feel really good about re-signing is Baez: he swings at everything, but he's an excellent fielder with plus power who is liable to fill SS or 2B well for many years going forward.

I guess it's a symptom of my own aging that I find it so weird that the staples of the Cubs WS team, a team a lot of people (including me) thought was going to dominate the NL for several years, are now sliding into free agency without ever having replicated that success, or even close. I mean, why would they have? Most teams don't, and by all objective measures (five playoff appearances in six years, three straight years making the NLCS, and so on) they've had an excellent run. I guess it was largely the irrational exuberance following that magical season that a lot of us, even those who never rooted for or cared about the Cubs beforehand, got caught up in. Well, that, and I don't think it was possible to predict that the Dodgers were going to become what they have in the last few seasons.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: February 26, 2021 at 11:02 PM (#6006950)
It was also because they were so young and therefore expected to get a bit better as a group. Even Rizzo and Heyward were only turning 27 in 2017, they'd gotten nothing out of Schwarber in 2016 (until the WS of course), had an entire lineup of pos players under control through their prime. The staff wasn't ever gonna be that good again, maybe we went overboard there -- Jason Hammel, 15-10, 109 ERA+!! That team had scored 800 runs, led the league in OBP and Schwarber, Russell, Baez, Almora, Contreras were only gonna get better.

And the 2017 team repeated that overall offensive performance almost exactly. The staff was far from a disaster -- 4th in ERA and runs -- but nearly a full run per 9 higher. In fairness, they were doing really well again in 2018. They got off to a sluggish start at 21-17 by mid-May but then went 60-38 and were 26 games over. Then whatever happened happend, they stumbled home 14-12, seemingly completely gassed, got caught by the Brewers, lost game 163 and the play-in. It's not fair to them to be disappointed by a 95-win season yet there we were. In the alternate universe where that team won 98 games, Cub fans are much happier.
   6. Adam Starblind Posted: February 27, 2021 at 09:46 AM (#6006959)
On paper, he's George Springer but a year younger at FA and a bit higher on the D spectrum.


Not after last year, he's not. He needs to have a normal Kris Bryant year or he's looking at much less than Springer got.
   7. JRVJ Posted: February 27, 2021 at 11:12 AM (#6006963)
Bryant is open to signing a long-term contract with the Cubs, because, why wouldn't he be?

Everything else is filler.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: February 27, 2021 at 03:41 PM (#6006981)
Springer pre-FA: 27.5 WAR, 16 WAA, 3567 PA, 145 Rbat, 1.3 dWAR
Bryant pre-FA: 24.3 WAR, 14.5 WAA, 3252 PA, 144 Rbat, -1 dWAR with a year to go
   9. The Duke Posted: February 27, 2021 at 11:30 PM (#6007000)
It seems like the Cubs can’t really win here. They aren’t signing him now because, well, maybe there’s something wrong. If he has 2/3 normal Bryant months, he’s too expensive to sign and will want to test the market.

The Cubs were going to tear down this year but got suckered into trying when everyone in the division spit the bit. Then they held on tight and the cardinals fleeced the Rockies and the brewers decided to start spending. Now the Cubs are in it but not clearly a favorite. Could be a lost year hanging around 85 wins and then a full rebuild next year. The cardinals look much better placed with $60 million off the books next year. They’ve added Arenado but can now add more in 2022. Cubs should be shooting for a 2025 reboot.

They should have signed Lester if Arrieta was coming back. Could have been a “getting the band back together” year.
   10. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 28, 2021 at 09:09 AM (#6007002)
85 wins is not a lost year! It's a successful year, better than average!
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 28, 2021 at 10:08 AM (#6007004)
85 wins is not a lost year! It's a successful year, better than average!

If they win 85 games, they'll probably win the division. Right now they project at 79.
   12. Quaker Posted: February 28, 2021 at 04:51 PM (#6007047)
Walt, didn't you do a post a couple years ago showing WAR for players Bryant's height and taller was generally pretty poor after about 30?
   13. Adam Starblind Posted: February 28, 2021 at 06:30 PM (#6007049)
Springer pre-FA: 27.5 WAR, 16 WAA, 3567 PA, 145 Rbat, 1.3 dWAR
Bryant pre-FA: 24.3 WAR, 14.5 WAA, 3252 PA, 144 Rbat, -1 dWAR with a year to go.


I know Bryant has had an excellent career. But it’s silly to suggest he would’ve gotten Springer’s contract this off-season after the year he (Bryant) had. He’d probably be on a 1/20 “prove it” contract, which is essentially the situation he’s in now with the Cubs.
   14. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: March 01, 2021 at 01:58 PM (#6007139)
Not after last year, he's not.
Presumably, MLB decision-makers have some concept of how much 34 games worth of performance means.
   15. Adam Starblind Posted: March 01, 2021 at 07:53 PM (#6007195)
He played in 34 games because he missed half his team’s games because he was injured. No extra points for that.
   16. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: March 01, 2021 at 10:34 PM (#6007207)
He played in 34 games because he missed half his team’s games because he was injured. No extra points for that.


I mean, I guess. But in a regular season a guy who misses 30-odd games would still have those extra 70+ to show his true talent level. If you see what I'm saying.
   17. dejarouehg Posted: March 01, 2021 at 11:18 PM (#6007211)
Presumably, MLB decision-makers have some concept of how much 34 games worth of performance means.


I'm a huge Bryant fan. I'd be thrilled if he stays with them for the next 10 years.

BUT, last year's 34 game debacle only further amplified what had become obvious to many, which is that he just hasn't been the super-elite player that he was, whether it is due to injury or any other reason and it didn't begin in 2020.

No matter how bad his shoulder was or whatever other ailment he may have endured, watching him chasing pitches or just constantly being out of sync literally from game 1 last year was painful to watch.

That said, the classless way that so many Cubs fans have turned on Bryant is just another example of why players have (or should have) so little regard for fans.



You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Chicago Joe
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Sox TherapyHome for the Holiday
(12 - 2:10am, Apr 21)
Last: Chip

NewsblogReport: Javy Báez Declined Cubs’ Offer ‘Somewhere in Range of $180 Million’
(23 - 12:54am, Apr 21)
Last: Brian C

NewsblogInfielder Neil Walker retires after 12 MLB seasons
(5 - 12:33am, Apr 21)
Last: Crispix Attacksel Rios

NewsblogOrder, order, order, OMNICHATTER's takin' the stand! for April 20, 2021
(76 - 12:31am, Apr 21)
Last: The Duke

NewsblogNBA 2020 Season kick-off thread
(2729 - 10:15pm, Apr 20)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-20-2021
(6 - 9:23pm, Apr 20)
Last: The Mighty Quintana

NewsblogThe Case for Slowing It Down
(11 - 8:28pm, Apr 20)
Last: John Northey

NewsblogOT - Soccer Thread - Spring is in the Air
(185 - 8:13pm, Apr 20)
Last: I am going to be Frank

NewsblogEmpty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird
(12780 - 8:09pm, Apr 20)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

NewsblogDrafting high school pitchers is a suckers game
(7 - 6:42pm, Apr 20)
Last: Smitty*

NewsblogMinnesota Twins, Timberwolves postpone games in wake of police shooting of Daunte Wright
(302 - 4:46pm, Apr 20)
Last: greenback used to say live and let live

NewsblogWhy the Cubs' awful offense could trigger full rebuild if downward trend continues this summer
(25 - 3:23pm, Apr 20)
Last: dejarouehg

NewsblogCarter Stewart Jr., former top-10 pick and potential trailblazer, makes Nippon Professional Baseball
(1 - 1:29pm, Apr 20)
Last: Rough Carrigan

NewsblogYahoo Sports Braves' Sean Kazmar Jr. makes it back to MLB after 12 years in minor league
(13 - 12:32pm, Apr 20)
Last: base ball chick

NewsblogNew York Yankees' Jay Bruce to retire after Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays
(32 - 11:37am, Apr 20)
Last: SoSH U at work

Page rendered in 0.2974 seconds
48 querie(s) executed