Kris Bryant is still a member of the Chicago Cubs. There was a time this winter when there seemed to be almost no shot that would be the case come spring training. Theo Epstein and company were reported to have talked to several different teams over the last few months. The San Diego Padres are one of the last teams the Cubs are rumored to have spoken with about Bryant. So far at least, a deal hasn’t materialized and the team’s star third baseman seems to think he knows why that it hasn’t happened. Speaking to Cubs.com he gave his opinion on the lack of movement on the trade front.
“I mean, Theo keeps asking for the moon for me, which is pretty cool, because I’m not going to get traded then. Keep doing that, Theo. ‘We want the team’s best player and their top two prospects.’ That’s all it’s going to take.”
As Brett Taylor of Bleachernation points out, the comments are both spot-on and self-aware of his situation. Taylor believes the idea that the Cubs have been asking for a price other teams simply aren’t willing to meet. That’s the reason Bryant is still around. That’s in line with the recent reports regarding the Padres.
That report claims Chicago was asking for Dinelson Lamet and Luis Campano. Lamet is one of San Diego’s top pitching prospects despite and has been a strikeout machine so far in his career. Campano is a catching prospect who is just starting his professional career but is already considered one of the best in the Major Leagues.
Then there was talk the Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals, and Atlanta Braves were all interested. The Cubs were rumored to have spoken with the Colorado Rockies as well. If the asking price from Chicago wasn’t too high, it’s hard to figure out why Kris Bryant is still on the team.
Some analysts believed Epstein was desperate to unload the slugger. The theory was the team wanted to cut payroll in order to get under the luxury tax. While team owner Tom Ricketts has spoken about his awareness of the luxury tax, the team is technically still over it. If the front office was desperate to unload Bryant, there were more than a few teams willing to take him off their hands.
Kris Bryant believes the desperation isn’t quite as strong as the media believed. Had the right offer come along, a deal might have been done. That right offer, the Cubs’ star’s theory goes, would have had to have been a no-brainer.