Ross: 'Fans Should Expect' Bryant To Be With Cubs

As the Cubs remain quiet, Kris Bryant continues to land in trade speculation.

670 The Score Staff
January 16, 2020 - 11:49 am

(670 The Score) As Cubs star third baseman Kris Bryant continues to land in trade speculation, new manager David Ross is planning on Bryant being with the team in spring training and in his Opening Day lineup. 

"Any manager would advocate for time with KB," Ross said Thursday. "I'm excited. As things stand right now, coming into camp, KB's on the roster. I expect him to be there. I think the fans should expect him to be there. It's an exciting time to be a Cubs manager, because there's a lot of talent. There's no ceiling for this team. I really think this team can win the World Series. That's the way I'm looking at things."

Bryant, 28, hit .282 with 31 homers, 77 RBIs and a .903 OPS in 147 games last season. He and the Cubs recently avoided arbitration by agreeing on an $18.6-million salary figure for 2020. He's currently under team control through 2021, though Bryant and his camp are awaiting the ruling of a grievance that contends the Cubs manipulated his service time back in 2015. If Bryant won, he'd earn the right to be a free agent after 2020, but the expectation is that he'll lose the case.

Despite his supreme talent, Bryant has found himself on the trade block this offseason as the Cubs are at a crossroads in deciding how to balance being competitive in 2020 with what's best for their long-term future. 

The Cubs haven't made a move of consequence this offseason -- they've mainly taken fliers on signing players to minor league deals -- but trading Bryant would constitute a massive shakeup. And with Josh Donaldson recently signing with the Twins, the trade market has become more clear for teams seeking third basemen. That includes the Braves and the Nationals, who would be logical trade partners in any discussion.

Ross acknowledged the Cubs front office could still make a big trade, but to date, teams inquiring about Bryant have found the Cubs' price for him to be steep, according to reports.

For his part, Ross is unencumbered by the Bryant speculation.

"'Bothered' is not the right word," Ross said. "I would say it's just unique that I'm the manager and answer these types of questions. But no, I've been around baseball for a long time. When you have teammates, you don't want to see them leave either. So when trade rumors start, you're always kind of thinking what might the possibilities be. But in no way does that bother me. I know KB. I'm going to love that guy whether he's a Cub or puts on a different uni. That's how baseball works sometimes. Right now, he's on my team and I'm excited about it."