Kris Bryant Reportedly Turns Down $200 Million Extension
It looks like the Cubs superstar is going to bet on himself.
BleacherNation - Dave Kaplan (is).reporting that he’s heard from a source that the Cubs approached Kris Bryant and his agent Scott Boras “in the last several months” about a “massive extension” worth “well north of $200 million.” That extension was – again, according to the source – turned down by Bryant and Boras, who preferred instead to go year-to-year in arbitration.
This by no means is an indication that Bryant will leave the organization anytime soon.
Bryant's contract with the Cubs is in place for the next three years. All three of those years are arbitration years, meaning that the Cubs and Bryant will agree to a salary during the offseason for each of the next three years. Speculation is that those Bryant should sign for around $20 million in each of those years, assuming that his production is consistent.
It's an interesting move by both parties. By turning this down, Bryant is basically saying that he'll take the estimated $50-60 million over the next three years and then try to sign a super-duper big contract when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. The Cubs, by offering this, are saying that they believe he's going to return to his MVP type play once his shoulder fully heals and was hoping to get a little bit of a hometown discount. If you can call anything "significantly north of $200 million a discount."
The Cubs are the favorites to sign Bryce Harper to a long-term deal that is speculated to top $300 million plus, so maybe they were looking for some concrete numbers when planning their finances going forward.
One other thing to factor in is the huge increase of cash flow for the club once they start their own television network after the 2019 season. Maybe Bryant and his agent Boras are just looking to get a little bit more of that TV money.
Either way, Bryant will definitely be in Cubbie blue next year. His play will ultimately determine if this was a good gamble.