Kris Bryant has been a fixture in trade rumors this offseason, but according to NBC Sports Chicago's David Kaplan, those reports have been "greatly exaggerated."
"There'll be no substantive talks until Cubs know outcome of service time grievance," Kaplan's source told him. "What's the point of discussing deals if u don't know what you're trading?"
Well placed source says reports of Cubs asking price + potential landing spots for Kris Bryant are greatly exaggerated. "There'll be no substantive talks until Cubs know outcome of service time grievance. What's the point of discussing deals if u don't know what you're trading?"
— David Kaplan (@thekapman) January 14, 2020
Bryant's service time grievance has dragged on all offseason. The case - which will determine if he hits free agency next offseason or the following - has clouded the Cubs' short- and long-term future. They're not looking to punt on the 2020 season, but if Bryant wins the case, the Cubs could be more inclined to trade him, rather than risk losing him for nothing next winter on the open market.
But, as Kaplan's source notes, it's hard to truly discuss a trade when the grievance outcome could drastically affect Bryant's value. If Bryant wins the case, teams will offer the Cubs less in a trade package, as the 28-year-old would only be under contract for one season.
A Bryant trade has never been a guarantee, but the idea of the Cubs doing their due diligence makes sense. The Cubs farm system has grown barren, and Bryant could net top prospects in a trade to help the organization stay competitive in the long run.
However, no serious conversations can be had until the grievance is settled, if they ever happen at all.