Kris Bryant is the first player in the history of the game to be named the College Player of the Year (Golden Spikes Award), Minor League Player of the Year, NL Rookie of the Year and NL Most Valuable Player. Since Bryant was selected by the Cubs second overall in the 2013 draft, he has also won the Arizona Fall League MVP (2013) and the NL Hank Aaron Award (2016).
Bryant was the unanimous winner of the NL Rookie of the Year Award from the BBWAA a year ago and came within one vote (Mike Puma, New York Post) of being the unanimous winner of the NL MVP Award.
Kris Bryant is the 12th player in history to win an MVP Award and World Series in the same year, in age-24 or younger season, joining Tris Speaker (1912), Lou Gehrig (1927), Dizzy Dean (1934), Hank Greenberg (1935), Joe DiMaggio (1939), Hal Newhouser (1945), Willie Mays (1954), Mickey Mantle (1956), Hank Aaron (1957), Denny McLain (1968) and Cal Ripken Jr. (1983).
Bryant is the third player to ever win the Golden Spikes, Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards, joining Buster Posey and Bryce Harper. Bryant is the fourth player to win Rookie of the Year and the Most Valuable Player awards in consecutive seasons, joining Cal Ripken Jr. (1982, 1983), Ryan Howard (2005, 2006) and Dustin Pedroia (2007, 2008).
Kris Bryant became just the fifth player in the history of the game to win an MVP Award, a World Series and hit a home run in an All-Star Game in the same season. Bryant is now included on the same list as baseball legends Lou Gehrig (1936), Joe DiMaggio (1939), Mickey Mantle (1956) and Ken Boyer (1964). Bryant is the only player in history with at least 25 home runs and 75 walks in each of his first two big league seasons. And Joe DiMaggio is the only other player to have two seasons with at least 25 home runs and 75 walks.
During a conference call after being named NL MVP, Bryant joked that “it’s all downhill from here.” Bryant said, “This year has certainly been one of the best years of my life, winning the World Series, and now this is just icing on the cake. I look forward to really enjoying this offseason because I don’t know if this year will ever happen to me again.”
“I feel like good guys finish first, so being humble and being a good role model for kids, that’s something I strive for more than putting up good numbers or any of my individual goals. I don’t want to be that person people look at and say is too cocky. I just want to do my job, put smiles on people’s faces and win a lot of games along the way. This year was the perfect way to illustrate that.”
- Comcast SportsNet – How MVP Kris Bryant conquered the Baseball World
- Comcast SportsNet – Ridiculous Factoids from Kris Bryant’s MVP Season
- The Tribune – Frank assessment: Kris Bryant’s MVP award another step on his way to Cooperstown
- The Tribune – Kris Bryant nearly unanimous choice as National League MVP
- The Sun-Times – Kris Bryant wins Cubs’ first MVP since Sammy Sosa in 1998
- Bruce Levine – Cubs’ Kris Bryant Named NL MVP
Cubs Spring Training – Cactus League Schedule
The Cubs Spring Training schedule is supposed to be released next week. And the World Series Champions will break Spring Training attendance records for the fourth straight year.
For the 13th straight spring, the Cubs will play in the annual ‘Big League Weekend’ at Cashman Field in Las Vegas. It was announced Thursday the Cubs will play the Reds at Cashman Field on Saturday, March 25 and Sunday, March 26.
Details of the Cubs exhibition schedule have surfaced on other team’s sites. The Cubs and White Sox square off in Mesa at Sloan Park on Feb. 27 and in Glendale on March 17.
Brian McCann – Josh Reddick
The Astros were rather busy Thursday afternoon.
A day after signing Charlie Morton to a two-year contract, the Astros acquired Brian McCann from the Yankees for RHP Albert Abreu and RHP Jorge Guzman. McCann is owed $17 million each of the next two seasons. The Astros will pay $11.5 million of McCann’s $17 million salary according to Ken Rosenthal and Buster Olney with the Yankees paying the remaining $5.5 million the next two years.
According to multiple reports, the Astros agreed to terms on a four-year, $52 million contract with Josh Reddick. Reddick still has to pass a physical. The Astros have not announced signing Reddick to a four-year contract. Reddick was not attached to draft pick compensation because he was traded from the A’s to the Dodgers in-season.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Cubs’ career ERA leaders (1920-present) with a minimum of 50 games started: Jake Arrieta (2.52, 98 games started), Lon Warneke (2.84, 190 games started), Jon Lester (2.89, 64 games started), Kyle Hendricks (2.92, 75 games started)
• Kyle Hendricks (2.13) and Jon Lester (2.44) are the first teammates to finish 1-2 in majors in ERA since Roger Clemens (1.87) and Andy Pettitte (2.39) in 2005. Hendricks and Lester are just the fifth set of teammates to accomplish the feat since 1960.
• Buster Olney pointed out after Kris Bryant was named NL MVP that Scott Boras’ clients have swept the MVPs, Cy Young Awards and Rookie of the Year Awards the past two seasons in the National League. Kris Bryant (ROY), Jake Arrieta (Cy Young), Bryce Harper (MVP) won the three awards last year. And this year, Corey Seager (ROY), Max Scherzer (Cy Young) and Kris Bryant (MVP) took home the hardware.
• Mike Trout won the MVP in the American League. Trout is the third player in history to win multiple MVP awards prior to age 25 season, joining Hal Newhouser (1944, 1945) and Johnny Bench (1970, 1972).
• Kenley Jansen is the Marlins’ top target according to Jon Heyman. The Marlins “would love to sign” him if the “market breaks right.” Don Mattingly knows Jansen and the Marlins are “considering the idea of putting together a super pen since there aren’t the type of starters available at a reasonable cost to help them upgrade their rotation in a meaningful way.”
• According to Jon Paul Morosi, “trade talks on starting pitchers have been intense throughout the industry over the past 24-48 hours.”
And last, but not least, Kris Bryant (NL MVP), Ben Zobrist (World Series MVP), Jon Lester (NLCS Co-MVP) and Javier Baez (NLCS Co-MVP) are all under contract with the Cubs for at least the next three years.
This Day in Cubstory
2015 – Jake Arrieta won the NL Cy Young Award.
2011 – Cubs granted free agency to Luis Montanez
2010 – Cubs signed free agent Bryan LaHair
2008 – Cubs re-signed Ryan Dempster to a four-year, $52 million contract
2005 – Cubs signed free agent reliever Scott Eyre to a three-year, $11 million contract
2005 – Cubs released Adam Greenberg
2002 – Cubs signed free agent Keith McDonald
2000 – Cubs acquired Bill Mueller from the Giants for Tim Worrell
1999 – Cubs signed free agent Raul Gonzalez
1997 – Devil Rays selected Miguel Cairo, Brooks Kieschnick and Ramon Tatis from the Cubs in the expansion draft
1994 – Reds selected Larry Luebbers off waivers from the Cubs
1987 – Andre Dawson won the National League Most Valuable Player Award. Dawson was the first player to win a MVP award for a last place team.
1975 – Shawn Camp, born
1967 – Tom Gordon, born
1966 – Ron Coomer, born
1962 – Jamie Moyer, born
1952 – Steve Henderson, born
1925 – Gene Mauch, born
1914 – Cubs named Roger Bresnahan manager
1888 – Albert Spalding took players from his Chicago National League team (Cubs) and from other teams on a world-wide tour. Spalding and his players left from San Francisco and sailed to Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Ceylon, India, Egypt, Italy, France and England. Games were played in Sydney, Melbourne, Cairo, Naples, Rome, Paris and London. In Egypt, one of the pyramids was used as a backstop.