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Cubs’ Kris Bryant to Twitter critics and worldwide trade speculation: ‘Bring it’

MESA, Ariz. — Trade Kris Bryant? Doesn’t even make sense.

But there were reports suggesting it after his struggles during the second half last year as he played through shoulder soreness. There was at least one prominent national report early in the offseason, and at least one local sports broadcaster brought it up more than once. Not to mention the Twitterverse piling on.

“When you start seeing things about yourself, seeing things saying, ‘Trade him,’ ” he said, “I’m like, `All right, I’m motivated.’

“Keep them coming. Bring it.”

Kris Bryant congratulated at home plate by Jason Heyward after hitting a two-run homer in his first at-bat of the spring Saturday. (AP photo/Darron Cummings)

In his first chance to respond on the field Saturday in the Cubs’ Cactus League opener against the Brewers, Bryant brought it.

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He slugged a two-run home run to left in his first at-bat, added a line single to left in his second AB and started a sharp inning-ending double play in between.

“Whatever you guys [in the media] write, I try not to read it,” the two-time All-Star and 2016 MVP said. “Most of you guys are great anyway. But, honestly, it’s like, `What have you done for me lately?’ And last year, I didn’t really do anything. And, sure, it was warranted. But, boy, did it motivate me this year. So I’m excited.”