Just over a week ago, we watched three of the most beloved players in Chicago Cubs history packed up and shipped off at the MLB trade deadline – including former National League MVP Kris Bryant, who went to the San Francisco Giants in return for a pair of prospects.
In the days that followed, Cubs president of Jed Hoyer somehow thought it was a good idea to air his dirty laundry, accusing the trio of not actually wanting to stay in Chicago long-term, which prompted Anthony Rizzo to immediately offer his take on what transpired prior to his departure.
Since then, Hoyer brushed off the whole tit-for-tat that went down between him and Rizzo via the media – but now, Bryant has laid out some claims of his own that, if true, are a damning blow to this front office and ownership group.
According to the four-time All-Star, the Cubs came to his camp once with a contract extension offer – in the spring following the team’s World Series championship season. In other words, it’s been four-plus years since Hoyer (and his predecessor Theo Epstein) broached talks with Bryant.
“It’s tough,” he told NBC Sports Chicago of Hoyer’s comments, “because I’ve always wanted to take the high road and I’ve never been about calling out people who have done special things for me in my career. And regardless of the negatives or anything that have surrounded me or the situation there, I’ll always think back to my time there and feel happy about and have great memories about it.”
Per usual, Bryant continued to be the consummate professional – as he did during his entire Cubs career. For years, he dealt not only with trade rumors that stretched back several years, but there were multiple reports indicating he balked at nine-figure contract offers. But if his latest comments are, indeed, accurate, the flak he caught from fans and media alike was for naught.
Chicago Cubs: You cannot trust Jed Hoyer given his actions this past week
Any hopes of the former first-rounder coming back to the Cubs in the offseason, at least in my mind, are all but dead at this point. Bryant and his family reportedly love San Francisco – and, to be frank, I hope the Giants lock him up long-term and he cements his place as a fan favorite in the Bay Area for years to come. Because that’s what he deserves.
“I think we were all on Cloud 9 after 2016 and rightfully so,” he added. “But at the end of the day, like Jed said, He puts his head on the pillow every night. And I know I gave it my all, and I was always willing to listen to anything. And at the end of the day, we had conversations after 2016, and that was it.
Hoyer, meanwhile, has done substantive damage to the organization’s reputation in the week or so since the trade deadline – when he decided to break the front office’s long-standing ‘closed curtain’ policy and commented on Rizzo, Bryant and Javier Baez’s departures and lack of contract extensions.
He wants to put the onus on the players when the truth is this: the front office and ownership failed to supplement that core, and instead of appreciating what they brought during their lengthy time here, have embarked on a bridge-burning campaign that could do lasting damage for years to come.