While it might have been hard to believe at first, it turns out that the Rockies were indeed very serious about their pursuit of former Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant. They were so serious, in fact, that they signed the slugger to a massive deal worth $182 million over seven years. There’s even a no-trade clause.
Third baseman Kris Bryant and the Colorado Rockies are in agreement on a seven-year, $182 million contract, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 16, 2022
Rumors that the Rox were going after the former NL MVP started circling Tuesday night, with the caveat that they might be looking at either Bryant or fellow former Cubs teammate, Kyle Schwarber.
It appears that after Schwarber signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, the Rockies turned their full attention to Bryant. The estimated $26 million AAV makes this the richest free-agent contract that’s been signed since the lockout ended.
It’s also a noteworthy contract for Colorado, which entered the 2021 offseason with most people under the impression the team was going to enter into a full-on rebuild. They traded away superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado before last season, paying St. Louis $50 million to take him, and allowed stud shortstop Trevor Story to depart in free agency.
However, it appears plans may have changed when the new CBA included a 12-team playoff format that gives the Rockies another avenue to get to the postseason.
Bryant’s signing also brings to a close any hope Cubs fans might have been holding out in bringing back one of the core members of the 2016 World Series team. Javier Báez signed with the Tigers before the lockout began and Anthony Rizzo inked a deal with the Yankees.