A year later, Kris Bryant shares advice for Willson Contreras, Ian Happ at trade deadline

Kris Bryant is in a very different place than he was in last July with the Chicago Cubs

MILWAUKEE — Last July, Kris Bryant was in a weird place. The Chicago Cubs were on the precipice of trading him to the San Francisco Giants. They had already traded Joc Pederson to the Braves and they were trading Andrew Chafin to the Oakland A’s one year ago today.

But within the next five days, they would also trade Anthony Rizzo to the Yankees, Ryan Tepera and Craig Kimbrel to the White Sox, Javier Báez and Trevor Williams to the Mets, Jake Marisnick to the Padres, and Kris Bryant to the Giants.

Since then, Bryant hit free agency and then surprised most of the baseball world when he signed a seven-year contract with the Colorado Rockies for $182 million.

Kris Bryant reflects on being traded at the 2021 Trade Deadline

Now that he is one year removed from the experience of being traded, Bryant reflected on it to the media before the Rockies’ series finale on Monday in Milwaukee.

“Very weird time of my baseball career but I’m happy that I went through it,” Bryant told FanSided in Milwaukee on Monday.

“At the time, I was obviously going to a team that was going to the playoffs and doing well but it made things this year a whole lot easier for me. I’ve been with a few different teams since a year ago … It’s gone by really fast. I can’t believe it’s been a year since that happened but (I’m) on to a new chapter in my baseball career and, so far, it’s been really great.”

With a seven-year deal now, Bryant won’t be traded any time soon from the Rockies. Despite being nine games under .500 entering Tuesday, the Rockies could be buyers at the trade deadline, as Rockies GM Bill Schmidt told Rox Pile, FanSided’s Rockies site yesterday. But he also said that they are entertaining offers for their impending free agents.

Players like shortstop José Iglesias, closer Daniel Bard, starting pitcher Chad Kuhl, and relievers Alex Colomé, Jhoulys Chacín, and Carlos Estévez will be free agents at the end of the season. Bryant’s former Cubs teammates Willson Contreras and outfielder Ian Happ (who is a free agent after next season) could be traded.

Bryant offered all of them some advice since he was in their shoes last year.

“All things really do come to an end eventually and, in the moment, it might kind of sting a bit,” Bryant told FanSided. “You might feel unwanted or whatever but it’s not really about that. It’s about where the team is and their current situation. I’m just really glad I went through that. I enjoyed my time (in Chicago), I enjoyed my time in San Francisco, and I’m really enjoying my time here and I’m meeting a lot of people along the way. Good ballplayers, new experiences, and, when I look back on my career, when it’s all said and done, I can really appreciate the new chapters in my career and new experiences and truly appreciate it.”

Bryant has struggled to stay healthy with the Rockies as he was out with a back injury from April 26 to June 26 (with two games played in the majors before re-injuring his back). He also wasn’t in the Rockies starting lineup on Monday because he was dealing with some foot soreness.

“Kris has some discomfort in his foot,” said Rockies manager Bud Black told FanSided Monday’s game. “It’s been sort of a gradual thing over the last few days. Today, we just decided to take him out of the lineup to get a lot of treatment. (Bryant will) get reevaluated tomorrow when we get to Denver with our doctors, some specialists, and see where we are.”

However, when he has been healthy, he has been one of their best bats. In 36 games, Bryant has hit .300/.367/.479 with five home runs, 14 RBI, and 10 doubles. In his 19 games since returning from his back injury, he has hit .325/.388/.597 with five home runs, 10 RBI, and five doubles.