#Cubs Epstein on Bryant: “We haven’t made a decision yet”

Whether or not Kris Bryant will be on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster has been a hot topic, and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Friday that no decision has been made regarding the team’s top prospect.

What should be noted is that in his career, Epstein has never had a player make his Major League debut on Opening Day, other than a Rule 5 pick or a Japanese player. While most of the focus has been on Bryant’s call-up being linked to the start of the service time clock, Epstein said this is not a business decision.

“It’s for baseball reasons, and it hasn’t been about anything else besides baseball reasons,” Epstein said Friday. “We spend a lot of time thinking about which players to draft, how to get them off to a good start in their professional careers, how to help them advance in the Minor Leagues, and how to help them make that final leap to the big leagues and when and how to do it to put them in a position to succeed.”

Bryant has been the center of attention because of his Major League-leading nine home runs and .406 batting average, and because his agent, Scott Boras, has been outspoken about how the third baseman is being treated.

“It’s not about business,” Epstein said. “People are trying to make this about business. There are valid baseball reasons. The process of developing a player, taking them from amateur to Major League player and every step along the way, that’s a baseball process and those are baseball decisions, and that’s what we’re doing here.”

What Epstein is looking for is the right moment. Last year, the Cubs promoted Javier Baez and Jorge Soler to the big leagues, and both moves came when the team was on the road in hitter friendly ballparks.

“We haven’t made a decision yet,” Epstein said regarding Bryant. “We’re going to make a good baseball decision based on what we think is best for his development and what’s best for the team and the organization and other players affected. We haven’t made the decision yet.

“I look to things that have worked in the past for me as sort of a presumptive guideline for what to do in the future,” Epstein said. “I’m not saying it’s perfect, but I do think if you stack it up and look at some of the young players, it’s a pretty good track record. We haven’t made a decision. Whatever we decide on this one, it might be wrong, I’m not saying I’m right all the time, but it’s my professional judgement.”

— Carrie Muskat

8 comments

  1. Pingback: #Cubs Epstein on Bryant: “We haven’t made a decision yet” - Cubs Chronicles
  2. Kurt

    The Cubs are in a real pickle, the fans will feel betrayed if Bryant is not on the opening day roster, and will always believe it was a financial decision. The reality of player control is a very mute point if Bryant Hits 20-30 HRs and bats above 275 the Cubs will be racing to sign him long term sooner than later.

    It’s time a few veterans (Rizzo, Lester, Castro… Billy Williams, Ferguson Jenkins) ask Theo to make sure Bryant is on the opening day roster on behalf of the team and fan base.

    • Doug

      If this front office made moves based on how certain fans will feel, then they would have signed Prince Fielder and not traded anyone major away. That means the Cubs wouldn’t have been bad enough to draft Kris Bryant, nor would they have Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks, Travis Wood, Pedro Strop, Neil Ramirez, Justin Grimm, or Mike Olt, all acquired in trades of players a certain group of fans objected to trading in the first place. The front office always has and always will do what’s best for the team as a whole and not let the fans dictate what to do.
      ———
      Also, it’s “moot point” nor “mute point.” And Bryant’s time under team control is not a moot point, because the more time the Cubs have him under team control, the more leverage they’ll have in offering him a long term deal.

  3. jhosk

    I do not agree with Kurt, but he has a viewpoint. As the 3/20 `Commenting guidelines` suggest, “Everyone has a right to his/her opinion, whether we agree or not.”

    • Doug

      And where exactly do I say that he doesn’t have a right to his opinion? All I say is that the front office doesn’t decide what to do based on possible fan reaction and cite a bunch of players who were acquired after trading away popular players that created criticism for the front office when they were traded. And I corrected the “moot point” statement, which is a common mistake for people to make. I didn’t rip his head off for it or anything. And agreeing and disagreeing with an opinion is an opinion itself too. So do I not have a right to my own opinion? But now I will hit my own mute button and enjoy the rest of the weekend. Only 8 days to go until Opening Night at Wrigley! I’ll see you there…

  4. Pingback: Boras Keeps Talking Up Kris Bryant, Manfred and Epstein Defend Cubs Position - Chicago Cubs Online
  5. jhosk

    You won`t see me at Wrigley `Opening Night.` I`m in Myrtle Beach and am hoping to wrangle a ticket to the Cubs `High A` club `Opening Night` contest at Pelicans` Park April 9th before my sorry behind is bounced from this beach community for mischievous conduct.

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