While Bryant tempts Cubs fans, management should hold off on Opening Day debut
Kris Bryant will not be clanging home runs off the empty right center field void where bleachers should be against the Cardinals on Opening Day. He won’t even be in the same state.
If the Cubs can restrain themselves from inserting Bryant right into the middle of their lineup to start the season, just by waiting a few weeks, they will be able to gain an entire extra year of contractual control through the year 2021. Bryant, a Scott Boras client, is as priceless a prospect that there is in baseball making an extra year of team-control even more valuable.
If anything, this should come as music to Cubs fans ears. It’s yet another example of the Epstein and Hoyer regime showcasing its baseball brains. Old Cubs management bluffed competitiveness by tossing big money to aging superstars. The new-age Cubs have been growing their own talent, and Bryant is the new school’s prized piece.
Still Bryant has galvanized Cubs fans and it’s made them antsy.
For the first time in the Epstein era, the team’s sights are set on a postseason appearance and Bryant is being ushered in as the Cubs’ ring-leader. This spring, in just 23 at-bats, Bryant has 10 hits – six of them were crushed for home runs. His Spring Training performance is as impressive as his minor league career has been. He’s out-slugged everyone at every level he’s been at.
But just be patient.
It’s been Epstein & Co.’s job since 2011 to make the Chicago Cubs as good as possible for as long as possible – having Bryant on the field on Opening Day overrides the philosophy that’s got Cubs fans riding so high in the first place.
So,preach patience to your bleacher-bummed friends, your dad who survived the false hopes of the Jim Hendry era, and your poor grandma who’s bled Cubbie blue for way too long. And you, too. You can sleep soundly at night knowing the Cubs are one of the most well-run organizations in baseball. It’s refreshing. The 2015 season isn’t the only year this group intends to aim for playoff baseball.
He’ll be here soon. Patience, my friends.