Contracts? Grievances? Kris Bryant has had fill of ‘all this stupid stuff’ but still handles business

If Bryant has shown anything so far this spring, it is the other side of his value to the team and clubhouse, regardless of his established value on the field.

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‘‘I just want to play baseball, like I did my first and second years and third year, and not worry about anything,” the Cubs’ Kris Bryant said.

‘‘I just want to play baseball, like I did my first and second years and third year, and not worry about anything,” the Cubs’ Kris Bryant said.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

MESA, Ariz. — Sometimes even Kris Bryant reaches his limit.

One of those moments came Wednesday morning, when the player with perhaps the most agreeable personality in the Cubs’ clubhouse got hit with two more off-the-field, business-related questions involving his relationship and future with the team.

The first was about an Associated Press report on the leaked 42-page arbitrator’s decision on Bryant’s recent grievance hearing that portrayed more contentiousness than reports initially suggested.

The second was about Christian Yelich’s below-market contract extension with the Brewers — a reported $187.25 million over seven years — and whether that might have any bearing on Bryant’s likelihood to sign an extension with the Cubs before they feel compelled to trade him.

‘‘In terms of comparisons and stuff, I’m kind of over all this stupid talk and all the other stupid stuff this game brings,’’ Bryant said without raising his voice or focusing anger on anyone. ‘‘I’m really over it.

‘‘I just want to play baseball, like I did my first and second years and third year, and not worry about anything. But it’s kind of where this is going right now.’’

By the time he played four innings Wednesday against the Reds, Bryant seemed happier. He even video-bombed teammate Craig Kimbrel’s media scrum from the clubhouse doorway behind Kimbrel.

It’s only the first week of March, and Bryant is already the best player in the National League likely to be traded in the next 4½ months. He’s also the Cubs’ union rep and unofficial spokesman on all things related to collective bargaining.

And he’s about to become a first-time father next month. And his team is leaning on him as its newly installed leadoff hitter to help ignite the kind of good start that will save an otherwise-inevitable sell-off of key players at the trade deadline.

That’s a lot of stuff to deal with in March. And a lot of potential for weeks and months of questions.

But if Bryant has shown anything so far this spring, it is the other side of his value to the team and clubhouse, regardless of his established value on the field.

On a team full of All-Stars, he is the one most available to the media on the most days, informed about most issues and increasingly willing to speak up for colleagues and to speak out about inequities in baseball’s labor practices.

And if his worst moment came at 8 a.m. on a spring Wednesday, that’s not bad. In fact, neither was the actual moment.

The next thing he said was: ‘‘All I can say is good for Christian. I’m actually happy for him. The Brewers got a really dang good player.’’

The fact is, Yelich’s deal has no bearing on Bryant’s chances of signing an extension that hasn’t even been a topic of casual conversation with the Cubs in more than a year.

It’s just business. And if Bryant didn’t know that about the game when he showed up for his first spring training, he learned it fast as a rookie in 2015, when the Cubs manipulated his service time. That led to the grievance, which was heard in October and which Bryant and the union lost in January. And which was filed in large part as a means to help define the issue for upcoming CBA talks.

According to the AP report, the Cubs were found to have done nothing ‘‘nefarious’’ in how they applied the rules and had, according to the arbitrator, demonstrated enough fault with Bryant’s fielding that spring to merit his demotion to the minors to start the season.

‘‘I’ve been down this road five years now, and I’m just over it,’’ said Bryant, who has his own copy of the ruling. ‘‘I don’t care what they have to say about me; I really don’t.’’

Bryant met with president Theo Epstein when camp opened and cleared the air.

‘‘I get over things pretty quick,’’ he said. ‘‘I have no hard feelings, no grudges, no nothing toward any person in my life. Even you [media] guys.’’

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