Monday, June 30, 2014

Why The Cubs Need To Call Up Kris Bryant This Season

I, like every other Cubs fan who has even a passing interest in the minor league system, is so incredibly excited about the potential of Kris Bryant. He put up video game numbers in Double-A this year and has not slowed down since being promoted to Triple-A. If he continues what he is doing, the Cubs need to call him up this season.

Now a lot of stat savvy people will argue the point that it makes little sense to call him up this season, as the Cubs are not a contender, and they would be wasting a cost-controlled season by calling him up in a year that is a lost cause. When looking at players as assets, this is a decision that makes complete sense. Although those cost-controlled years are assets, the players themselves are actually human beings, and that is why it is important to send a message throughout the organization by calling Bryant up this season.

Now Bryant is bound to cool off somewhat, but if he does anything close to this consistently at Triple-A, then it would be absolutely ridiculous to wait until next June to bring him up to the Majors. Yes, that does give the Cubs another year of his production at below market value, but it also sends a message to the entire organization that player performance will only take you so far, as the front office has already predetermined when the earliest a player's debut can happen.

If I was at a job where I was exceeding all of their wildest fantasies about my performance but was told that it was still going to take a year for me to get a promotion, because the billionaires that run my company can save some money that way, I wouldn't be too thrilled with that decision. I'm also guessing that the people around me who see me busting my ass wouldn't be too thrilled either, as if I can't get promoted, their chance of being promoted any time soon is pretty slim. That is a great way to kill morale and effort.

That is why it is so important to remember that players are people, not assets. The human element changes things. And if Cubs prospects see a guy crush the ball and get rewarded, it will likely have positive psychological benefits for the entire organization. Also, the Cubs are not in the same situation as the Rays or Pirates. They have a shit-ton of money, and they are about to have dump trucks full of cash backed up and deposited in their bank account when they negotiate a new TV deal. If Kris Bryant is as good as people think he is going to be, the Cubs are going to be signing him for a long time. After those arbitration years are over, and the Cubs have to sign him to an 8-year deal as a free agent, is anybody really concerned on whether that covers his age-36 season as opposed to his age-37 season? I kind of doubt it.

The future is bright for the Cubs, and there is no reason the future shouldn't start in 2014 with Kris Bryant being promoted to the big leagues.


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