The Chicago Cubs sent spring training superstar Kris Bryant to the minor league camp on Monday and it was the absolute right move by the organization.
Kris Bryant was assigned to the Cubs minor league camp on Monday in a move that was done in the best interest of the club for the long-term.
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Bryant was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft out of San Diego and dominated in spring training with nine home runs but he could have hit 90 home runs that each traveled 700 feet and the correct move was to have him begin the season in the minor leagues.
Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, the Cubs get an extra year or service time before Bryant is eligible for free agency if they delay his promotion to the big leagues 12 days into April, which has resulted in a public battle with the Cubs brass and Bryant’s agent, Scott Boras.
Boras accused the Cubs of not trying to win if they didn’t have Bryant on the Opening Night roster and that’s what you’d expect a mega agent to say because he wants his payday to come one year earlier just like Bryant does, but the player hasn’t been as vocal and has handled the public discussion with professionalism and class.
The Cubs are trading two weeks of Bryant in 2015 for a full season of Bryant when he’s at his peak in 2021. This may be a business decision, but sports organizations make business decisions all the time.
Players who are traded, released, re-signed and drafted are done with the business aspect in mind and often dwarfing the sports impact. You can’t fault the Cubs for making this inevitable decision that is a no-brainer because of the system and taking a big picture approach and not sacrificing a year of Bryant for two weeks in April.
The Cubs are still a year or two away from being a legitimate playoff contender and the organization with president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer have remained true to their approach in building this team with a patient mantra looking at a long-term outlook and not trying to win today.
Further, Epstein has never had a prospect make his MLB debut on Opening Day, so he’s not abandoning his philosophy to appease to the fans who need instant gratification and need 40 at-bats from Bryant in early April.
That type of thinking did the Cubs in under the previous regime and for the better part of the last century. Cubs fans have waited long enough for a consistent winner so they can wait two weeks for Bryant to make his MLB debut.
We’re not talking about Bryant making his debut when rosters expand in September. This is a brief two-week stint in AAA where he can get more innings working in the outfield in addition to third base.
Be patient, Cubs fans. Hope is right around the corner and he should be at the hot corner for a long, long time and hitting a few hundred balls over the heads of the bleacher bums and on to Waveland Avenue.
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