During his seven seasons with the Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant ventured to the visiting clubhouse in Wrigley Field just once. The outing happened during summer camp last year, when the Cubs distributed their players in both locker rooms to meet social distancing guidelines amid the pandemic.
A curious Bryant came up to see the famous cramped facility, which had undergone some recent improvements, but still didn’t compare to the comforts Cubs players enjoyed at home:
Bryant will have more time to familiarize himself with that space this weekend, when he returns to Wrigley Field to face his former club for the first time since being traded to the Los Angeles. San Francisco Giants on the July 30 trade deadline.
Selected by the Cubs with the second overall pick in 2013, Bryant became a cornerstone of the franchise in Chicago, where he became the 2015 National League Rookie of the Year, the 2016 National League MVP award winner and four-time All-Star.
Bryant became one of the biggest stars among a pivotal group of players who helped the Cubs end their 108-year World Series drought in 2016, but that core ended up being dismantled as the franchise sought to bring in a new one. wave of young talents to boost.
Another rebuild this year. After trading Anthony Rizzo to the New York Yankees and Javier Báez to the New York Mets, the Cubs traded Bryant to the Giants in exchange for prospects Alexander Canario and Caleb Kilian.
With the Cubs on the road at the time, Bryant didn’t get a chance to get a proper sendoff from fans in Chicago, but he said he’s looking forward to officially closing that chapter of his life this weekend:
Bryant said he’s already received many text messages from former teammates and staff members who are looking forward to seeing him, though he won’t be able to catch up with Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer or manager David Ross, who are expected. missing the series after testing positive for COVID-19.
Despite their significant roster rotation this summer, the Cubs have won eight of their last nine games and will send right-hander Kyle Hendricks to the mound in Game 1 of the series on Friday afternoon.
The Giants, who have three starters after losing left-hander Alex Wood and right-hander Johnny Cueto to injuries, will counter with a bullpen game. Why didn’t it work for Bryant to spend his entire career with the Cubs?
A long-term extension wasn’t on the cards with the Cubs, but Bryant could still end up landing that kind of deal with the Giants, who see the 29-year-old slugger as a perfect fit for their roster due to his defense, versatility and his powerful bat and right arm.
It may interest you: MLB Inedito Three former Cubs make history with an unprecedented event
Bryant, an impending 1.96-meter free agent, has been as advertised thus far, hitting .265 with an .815 OPS and six home runs in 31 games to help the Giants in first place continue their drive for the coveted NL West Division crown down the stretch.