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The MLB shutting down could give Cubs a chance to reunite with Kris Bryant. Timing is everything, and Cubs fans want KB back.
Major League Baseball and its owners have instituted a lockout of the players after the two sides could not agree on terms for a new collective bargaining agreement. The old CBA expired at the beginning of this month. During the lockout, teams are not going to be negotiating or offering contracts to players, so free agency is essentially on hold. Though no one wants to see a lockout happen, for the Chicago Cubs, this could be a key factor if they have any hope of signing former Cub and World Champion Kris Bryant.
As we all know, Bryant and the Cubs struggled to talk about an extension to stay in Chicago. Some blame it on the Cubs brass holding Bryant down at the beginning of the 2015 season to gain an extra year of control, making him a free agent after 2021 rather than after 2020, and claiming to not have the money to pay the surging superstar.
Some blame it on Bryant being represented by the strong arm agent Scott Boras, making it seem his demands were far too high to reach an agreement. Whatever the reason was, Bryant was traded to the San Francisco Giants right at the July 30 trade deadline in 2021. He returned to Wrigley Field, as a visitor, in early September.
Bryant has reached free agency, and multiple teams are rumored to be in the sweepstakes for his services, including the Cubs.
Cubs rumors: Kris Bryant return makes sense
Prior to the lockout, the Cubs signed starting pitcher Marcus Stroman to a 3-year deal worth $71 million. During this time where no free agents will be signing or talking to teams, the Cubs have an opportunity to correct their books and find the absolute top dollar they can offer Bryant to come back to Chicago.
A player of Bryant’s caliber is not going to wait long after the lockout to find out where he will sign and begin to prep for spring training. What also helps the Cubs is Bryant’s camp’s previous relationship with the Cubs organization. The familiarity with the team and ballpark might go a long way in helping Bryant make a decision.
The Cubs are rumored to be a front runner to land shortstop Carlos Correa as well. It is not out of the realm of possibility the Cubs are in a place to be able to land both superstars because of their small payroll. Where will the priority be? Time will tell. But do not count the Cubs out on their former hero.