Kris Bryant is coming from a place of relief after last year’s chaotic Cubs deadline and free agency.
Now in his first season with the Colorado Rockies, Kris Bryant finally feels comfortable again.
The former NL MVP and World Series champion of the Chicago Cubs was dealt a year ago at the deadline to the San Francisco Giants. He went from the only organization he had ever played for, thrust onto a new team vying for the pennant. Though the Giants fell in the NLDS to the arch rival Los Angeles Dodgers on a check swing, the checks cashed for Bryant during his MLB free agency.
Now that he knows he will be in Denver for the foreseeable future, Bryant can relax a bit and get back to playing his brand of baseball.
Bryant spoke with Russell Dorsey of Bally Sports on what it means to no longer be on the block.
“Honestly, it doesn’t feel like every at-bat is life or death anymore,” said Bryant to Russell Dorsey of Bally Sports. “Whereas, when you’re in a year going into free agency where everything feels bigger than it needs to be.”
Bryant signed a massive seven-year deal worth $182 million to spend his 30s with the Rockies.
“I kind of find myself here [in Colorado] now and it’s not complacency or anything like that, but it’s nice to kind of approach an at-bat for what it is and just try to play baseball as opposed to trying to play baseball with so many other thoughts racing through your mind at the same time. It’s nice to feel free and be who I know I am.”
While it is great to get paid, Bryant must battle complacency to turn this losing franchise around.
Colorado Rockies: Kris Bryant relieved to no longer be living on the trading block
In Dorsey’s feature, Bryant kept mentioning how everything was going to be better once he got to free agency. The financial security, the long-term deal, cool things of that nature. Of course, Bryant would later admit the gratification of receiving them was only temporary. He would have to get back to playing his game of baseball. The hope is that playing style will help turn Colorado around.
While the Rockies are largely irrelevant this season, the plan is for Bryant to be a franchise cornerstone for success they can build with for years to come. If he can be huge part of the first Cubs team to win a World Series in over a lifetime, Bryant can help the Rockies win their one first ever. Of course, playing in the same division as the Dodgers and Giants makes this more difficult.
By signing with Colorado, it was not about 2022, but the next seven years for Bryant. He does not have to win another World Series to have a successful career; he already has one. What matters is his baseball legacy will be impacted by what he does, and doesn’t do, over the next magnificent seven in Colorado uniform. Win big and Bryant will be as revered as Larry Walker and Todd Helton.
Knowing that he is not expected to be traded anytime soon, it is time for Bryant to get to work.