MLB rumors: Cubs unlikely to non-tender Kris Bryant; Red Sox agree with Eduardo Rodriguez before deadline

The 2020 Winter Meetings — which will be held remotely — are less than a week away and that should really fire up the hot stove, as nine of our top 10 free agents remain unsigned. In the meantime, the expectation is that things will start to pick up later this week, as the non-tender deadline (Wednesday night) ought to encourage a flurry of activity. 

Let’s dive in to Tuesday’s hot stove rumors.

Bryant won’t be non-tendered

Wednesday’s non-tender deadline is quickly approaching, and Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won’t be one of the players non-tendered, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. The Cubs will consider trades for Bryant, Heyman notes.

Our own Mike Axisa included Bryant as part of his non-tender deadline preview, writing the following:

Wouldn’t it be something if the Cubs non-tendered Bryant after all the service time shenanigans (and the grievance that took nearly five years to resolve)? It’s insane Bryant, a 28-year-old former MVP who played at an All-Star level as recently as 2019, is being discussed as a non-tender candidate — teams that are trying to contend don’t even entertain such ideas — but such is the state of Chicago’s finances, or so owner Tom Ricketts claims. Bryant had a miserable 2020 season while playing hurt and, if the Cubs are unable to find a suitable trade prior to Wednesday’s deadline, they very well might cut him loose. I think it’s far more likely they keep him and hope he rebuilds value next year so they can flip him at the trade deadline (or, gasp, contend), but it is not set in stone. Chicago has several non-tender candidates and Bryant is easily the most notable. 

Bryant, who is a year away from free agency, still appears more likely than not to have played in his final game with the Cubs. Heyman also notes that the Cubs — who are set on shedding salary this winter — could non-tender Kyle Schwarber.

Red Sox agree to deal with E-Rod

The Boston Red Sox and starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez have agreed to a salary of $8.3 million for the 2021 season ahead of the non-tender deadline, according to’s Mark Feinsand. The deal is worth the same amount as his 2020 salary.

Rodriguez, a 27-year-old left hander, did not play in the 2020 season because of complications following his bout with the coronavirus. He was diagnosed with myocarditis, or “an inflammation of the heart muscle,” per the Mayo Clinic definition. He did not opt-out of the abbreviated season. Rather, he was shut down by the team.

In 2019, Rodriguez had a 3.81 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 213 strikeouts in 203 1/3 innings in 34 games started.


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