Friday will be a second Opening Day for Chicago Cubs fans.
The Chicago Cubs will promote baseball’s top prospect Kris Bryant and he’ll be on hand Friday when the club hosts the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field, FOX Sports MLB Insider Jon Paul Morosi has confirmed.
The move was initially reported by ESPNChicago.com and other media outlets. Yahoo Sports reported Bryant will be the starting third baseman, replacing Mike Olt who is reportedly heading to the disabled list.
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Bryant tore it up in spring training, leading the majors with nine home runs in 14 games and batting .425, but his arrival in the majors was delayed by the vagaries of baseball’s free agency rules. By waiting until April 17, the Cubs add a year before he’s eligible to become a free agent.
In seven games this season at Triple-A Iowa, Bryant hit .321 with two homers and 10 RBI in 28 at-bats.
Bryant, who led the minors with 43 homers last season, posted the below tweet:
Today I got to tell my family that my dream is coming true. Can't really put into words what that feels like. So excited for this journey!
Bryant’s agent Scott Boras complained when the 23-year-old slugger didn’t start the season on the 25-man roster. Bryant had a terrific spring, hitting .425 with 15 RBI in 40 spring training at-bats, but the Cubs gained an extra year of control before he can hit free agency by waiting to call him up.
Friday is the 13th day of the season, which means Bryant could at most accumulate 171 days or of major-league service. Because 172 days counts as a year, keeping him in the minors through Thursday ensured he would not be eligible for free agency until after the 2021 season.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.