Thoughts of fatherhood keep Bryant focused

March 6th, 2020

MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs' trip to Las Vegas could not have come at a better time for . Not only will the trek west allow Bryant the chance to be home for a few days, but he will be able to join his pregnant wife at a doctor's appointment.

"It worked out perfect," Bryant said.

The Bryants are expecting a son at some point in April and the upcoming addition has helped the Cubs' star third baseman keep all the noise that has surrounded him over the offseason and this spring in perspective. For Bryant, becoming a dad is far more important than any trade rumors that might be floating out there.

"This stuff doesn't matter," said Bryant, who pointed to the bat in his hand. "I mean, it does. Of course you want to win and I'm always going to play as hard as I can, but I watch everybody else and how they bring their kids in after the games and stuff. It's hard not to picture that."

After Bryant -- a free agent after the 2021 season -- arrived at camp this spring, he had a sit-down with president of baseball operations Theo Epstein to discuss all the white noise of the winter. By the time Bryant exited, he said he had more peace of mind about his situation, but that has not stopped the external trade chatter.

Earlier this week, for example, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the Cubs "talked to the Padres recently" about Bryant. Citing multiple sources, the report indicated that Chicago sought highly-touted pitcher Dinelson Lamet and also targeted catching prospect Luis Campusano, among other players.

"It hasn't been a distraction at all," Bryant said of the trade chatter. "I mean, Theo keeps asking for the moon for me, which is pretty cool, because I'm not going to get traded then. Keep doing that, Theo. 'We want the team's best player and their top two prospects.' That's all it's going to take."