Because of a lingering shoulder injury, he appeared in just 102 games in the 2018 season.
As Olney notes, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein recently said the team has "never operated with untouchables", which, obviously, means that a Bryant trade is theoretically possible.
According to Olney, the Cubs could save some money, re-stock their farm system/young talent, and replace Bryant with David Bote at third base. "It sends the wrong message".
Specifically, Bryant was one of the young hitters who didn't mesh well out of the gate with last year's hitting coach, Chili Davis - making Bryant's success an important factor in the coaching change.
"I answered a general question about whether we have untouchables", he said via the Chicago Tribune. But that offer isn't going to come for Kris Bryant right now, and the Cubs have absolutely no real incentive to trade Bryant at this stage in his career and their stage in the competitive window. "But I just don't believe in operating with untouchables because why limit yourself in any way?"
In an offseason when the Cubs front office has to get creative, you expect them to consider everything. Bryant was the National League Rookie of the Year in 2015 and the NL MVP in 2016.
But since the day they negotiated Bryant's signing bonus with agent Scott Boras, the Cubs never counted on such an extension with their No. 2 overall draft pick.
Bryant, who turns 27 in Janaury, is under contract control through 2021. "It's certainly time. It's certainly a pivotal season for us as an organization for this group to go out there and accomplish some special things".