In the aftermath of Nolan Arenado’s historic contract extension with the Colorado Rockies, Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant once again hinted that he is open to signing a lucrative deal to say with the team for the long-term.
Speaking at the team’s spring training complex in Arizona, Bryant said he’s thrilled for Arenado, who signed an eight-year, $260 million deal that is the richest ever signed by a position player, and that he views it as a potential benchmark for a future deal with the Cubs.
“Yes. Totally,” he said. “You always look at what the other people at your position do in terms of their contracts. And you compare yourself accordingly. Obviously, Nolan, he’s a great player. He’s been doing it for a long time. Super consistent. Tons of passion playing the game. So, it’s nice to see another third baseman sign for that much.”
Arenado’s contract comes before what would have been the final season of his current contract in Colorado. The new deal will make him the highest-paid position player in baseball history, and represents a continuing shift in negotiations between players and organizations.
Other young players have also agreed to deals that have locked them in with their teams before they are able to hit free agency. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas is one of those players, inking a four-year deal worth $68 million in recent days. New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks also signed a deal, inking a seven-year extension worth $70 million.
Bryant is under Cubs control through the end of the 2021 season, but the team could opt to buy out the final three years of team control in exchange for higher annual salaries if Bryant is open to it.
According to 670 the Score’s Bruce Levine, Bryant said that he would be open to a contract extension with the Cubs, but the two sides have not yet had discussions on such a deal.
The comments come as the Cubs have said publicly that they don’t have any additional money for free agents this winter. Bryant seemed to poke fun at that notion during his media availability, saying that players are “not stupid” when it comes to money in baseball.
“Everybody has money. We’re not stupid,” he said. “You see the price of tickets, the price of whatever. There are TV deals, (so there’s) a lot of money in this game.”