Kris Bryant is in his prime. He is 28. He is the Cubs’ only NL MVP of the past two decades. He recorded the most important out in the history of the franchise, ending the Cubs’ 108-year championship drought.
And he just became even more valuable to the only major league team he’s ever played with.
Seeking to become a free agent after this upcoming season, Bryant lost his grievance against the Cubs — seeking an extra year of service time — which increases the potential return for the third baseman in any trade scenario.
Now, interested clubs will likely be willing to part with greater assets since Bryant will be under contract through the 2021 season.
Bryant, who reached his third All-Star Game last season while hitting .282 with 31 home runs, filed the grievance after his 2015 rookie season, when he started the year at Triple-A and finished with 171 days of service with the Cubs. If Bryant spent 172 days with the Cubs, it would have been considered a full season and made him a free agent after this season. Bryant will make $18.6 million this season.
The Cubs have reportedly had trade discussions regarding Bryant during the offseason after missing the playoffs for the first time since 2014 and parting ways with manager Joe Maddon, who was replaced by David Ross.