Kris Bryant More Open To An Extension With Cubs?

Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant
Photo credit Jake Roth/USA Today Sports
MESA, Ariz. (670 The Score) -- The Cubs have attempted on numerous occasions in recent years to sign their top young players to long-term extensions.

The most high-profile of those players is star third baseman Kris Bryant, who's under team control through 2021. Previous discussions didn't get too far, but in the wake of Rockies star third baseman Nolan Arenado reaching a new eight-year, $260-million deal Tuesday, Bryant expressed a some openness to the possibility of an extension, repeating a similar refrain from before.

"I've said I would listen to anything they've had to say," Bryant said. "I said that in Boston a few years ago, and I think it would be silly not to listen to what they have to say. I would be dumb not to listen to anything they have to offer. Right now, it looks like they are not willing to do that. We haven't gotten anyone new (in free agency this offseason). That is OK too."

Outside of first baseman Anthony Rizzo's seven-year, $41-million extension in 2013, the Cubs haven't been successful in their aim to lock up their core young players on longer deals. Rizzo's contract has worked out wonderfully for the team, as it will for practical purposes end up being a nine-year deal worth around $70 million once all the team options are picked up.

"That deal cost Rizzo $150 million," a high-profile agent told 670 The Score. "Theo (Epstein) and Jed (Hoyer) were brilliant in the projection of the Rizzo's worth to the franchise. They knew him and his makeup and got it done. Rizzo was smart in taking the guarantee, but it did alter his career earning ability."

Bryant set a record for first-year arbitration players with a $10.85-million salary in 2018. He will make $12.9 million this season, his fifth in the big leagues. That's more than the $12.2 million that Rizzo will make in 2019, the seventh season of the contract extension he signed back in 2013.

"If they want to go year to year, that's OK," Bryant said. "If they want to talk, I am here to listen. If you look at Nolan's contract, it looks like a free-agent deal. It depends on what kind of person you are. If you want to wait, you wait. If you don't, you don't. You always look at what other people get at your position. You compare yourself accordingly. He is great at what he does. It is great to see another third baseman sign for that much."

The chance that strike or lockout could occur in December 2021, the same offseason that Bryant hits free agency, doesn't bother him.

"That is yet to be seen," he said. "Hopefully we can hammer out (a deal) before it gets to that point."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine​.