It wouldn’t be a normal offseason without hearing Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant’s name in a variety of trade rumors.
Bryant once again has been in the middle of hot-stove talk this winter and was honest about how those rumors have affected him in the last few seasons and whether he still has fun playing the game.
‘‘That’s a great question,’’ Bryant said on the Red Line Radio podcast in January. ‘‘At times, no. It really got to me sometimes. Just the stuff I was hearing. The first trade rumors that started to pop up [in 2018], that really got to me. I found myself, like: ‘Man, is this even fun anymore? Why did I start playing this game?’ Because it was fun.’’
While Bryant’s comments made the rounds in the days that followed, Cubs president Jed Hoyer said he isn’t sweating Bryant’s candor.
‘‘I actually talked to Kris last week,’’ Hoyer said Monday. ‘‘I’ll keep the substance between us, but it was a great, great conversation, great tone. I felt like he was in a really good place.
‘‘Sometimes with Kris, I think he’s [honest]. I think it was very honest. I don’t think he was saying he didn’t love baseball. You know, I think it was just sort of an honest comment. He was in a great place when I talked to him and seems like he’s excited to get going and get the season started. So not a concern here at all.’’
Bryant, 29, is entering his final season of club control in 2021 before being eligible for free agency.