Rumors circulated around the fate of Kris Bryant's future with the Chicago Cubs for about the past six months or so. Many were sure Bryant he'd be traded, but nothing ever materialized, likely due to his service-time grievance with the Cubs, who won the case and gained an extra season of control over him through 2021.
With the MLB season looking like it will either not happen or be very delayed (and definitely significantly shortened), it seems as though the Cubs missed out on a golden opportunity to cash in on Bryant. Now, the coronavirus pandemic has put them in a tough spot.
Bryant had another productive season in 2019, making his third All-Star team after hitting .282 with 31 home runs and 77 RBI. It was a big rebound campaign after his 2018 season that was marred with injuries.
With the coronavirus' effects on the 2020 MLB season, the Cubs could actually end up (unofficially) losing that service-time grievance because they could lose a year of Bryant if no baseball is played. If they sent him to another team earlier in the offseason like the Red Sox did with Mookie Betts, they could be sitting pretty like Boston is right now.
Instead, this situation presents yet another complication in the team's relationship with Bryant, who may not be all that thrilled to even play for the team given all that's transpired. Though he said there's no hard feelings, we'll probably never know the truth.
This past offseason was the prime time for Theo Epstein to cash in on Bryant, and he didn't pull the trigger.