Kris Bryant was reassigned by the Chicago Cubs to their minor league camp Monday despite his outstanding spring training at the plate, triggering a threat of litigation from
the players' association.
Cubs Third Baseman Kris Bryant
In response, the Cubs organization threw a defiant curve ball to major league baseball, indicating today that the team would consider trading the young third basemen for top line starting pitching or selling Bryant's contract outright to another team. Such a deal would certainly be controversial, an unfortunate reminder of the deal more than fifty years ago when the Cubs dealt a young outfielder named Lou Brock to the St. Louis Cardinals for two aging 20 game winners.
This spring, the 23-year-old Bryant batted .425 with nine homers and 15 RBIs in 40 at-bats
The indication that Bryant was available for a trade may be nothing more than a bluff by the Cubs' organization. If Bryant spends 12 or more days in the minor leagues, Chicago would delay the slugging third baseman from becoming eligible for free agency by one year, until after the 2021 season, according to baseball's collective bargaining agreement.
Then again the Brock deal shows the organization has always been willing to part with young talent in return for experienced pitching that the team believes rightly, or wrongly, will make the Cubs immediate contenders.Yes, Cubs fans, your team is up to its old tricks again. There is always 2016, however.