Saying that there were “no hard feelings" between him and the organization, Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant arrived at spring training on Saturday, emphasizing that he’s ready to move past an offseason full of rumors and drama.
Speaking to reporters at the Cubs’ complex in Mesa, Bryant discussed the trade rumors that have swirled around him throughout the offseason and dismissed reports that he’s upset with the organization over their handling of a grievance that was recently adjudicated by an independent arbitrator.
“There’s definitely no hard feelings, so let’s just put that narrative to bed,” Bryant said in the interview, which was streamed on the Cubs’ flagship radio station 670 the Score. “The only person whose opinion matters on that is mine, and I’m at this microphone telling you guys there are no hard feelings whatsoever. I completely respect this organization and everything they’ve done for me and for my family.”
Bryant had filed the grievance against the Cubs after the team held him in the minor leagues to start the 2015 season. That move gave the Cubs an extra year of control over Bryant’s contract, and an arbitrator upheld the team’s right to make that move, meaning that the third baseman won’t be a free agent until after the 2021 season.
“I saw this as a process that’s eventually going to help the players in the next round of negotiating, and I was going to be that guy to have the courage to do it,” he said. “It was really important to me.”
In addition to the drama over his playing time grievance, Bryant has also been the subject of countless trade rumors over the offseason, but says that he isn’t surprised that he’s still with the Cubs with spring training beginning.
The slugger also admitted that he’s had friends send him screenshots of tweets and other social media posts, calling Twitter the “worst thing that has ever happened to the world,” according to 670 the Score’s Matt Spiegel:
Ultimately, Bryant says he is focused on getting ready to play for the Cubs during the 2020 season, and that he is trying to tune out all the other distractions.
“I’ve always expected to be here, and I’m really happy about it and ready to get going,” he said.
Bryant and the Cubs will kick off their Cactus League schedule on Feb. 23 when they face the Milwaukee Brewers.