The Chicago Cubs are coming off their fourth straight postseason appearance, but that doesn't mean franchise star and 2016 National League MVP Kris Bryant is staying put in the Windy City.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, the Cubs let other teams know that they're "willing to discuss trade proposals for almost all of the players on their roster, including Bryant."
Per Olney, the Cubs tried reaching a long-term contract extension with Bryant last year, but they were never able to hammer out a deal. Bryant can test free agency after the 2021 season.
The Cubs followed up their 2016 World Series championship with a trip to the 2017 NLCS, but they were embarrassed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games. After winning 95 games in the regular season this year, the Cubs had to play the Milwaukee Brewers in an NL Central tiebreaker game.
Chicago then had to play the Colorado Rockies in the NL Wild Card Game, which they lost. Olney detailed that there's "concern within the organization about the clubhouse culture," with recently fired hitting coach Chili Davis saying it wasn't easy working with the players.
Injuries derailed much of Bryant's 2018 season, as he batted a mere .272 with 13 home runs and 52 RBI, a significant regression from the 39 homers, 102 RBI and .292 BA he had in 2016.
For the Cubs, ending their 108-year World Series drought was supposed to only be the beginning of something special. Loaded with so much young talent and impact veterans, some thought this group would form the next great dynasty.
But key players from that championship team have left, while Bryant has struggled to piece together that MVP form again. It's no guarantee that the Cubbies actually trade their franchises star, but it's interesting enough that they're listening to offers for him.
This is a situation to monitor closely as the season progresses.