Report: Theo Epstein refutes Kris Bryant trade rumor

CHICAGO – Cubs fans are in a frenzy over a report that Kris Bryant could possibly be traded.

ESPN.com posted the story with a headline reading “Sources: Cubs open to moving 3B Bryant in trade.”

The article is in reference to comments made by Cubs team president Theo Epstein at the general managers meetings in California this week regarding potential “untouchable” players on the roster.

“We’ve never operated with untouchables. I think it sends the wrong message,” Epstein said.  “Given what we’re trying to accomplish, it would be virtually impossible to envision a deal that would make sense to move them. But I just don’t believe in operating with untouchables because why limit yourself in any way?”

Epstein clarified his statement with the Chicago Tribune Friday.

“I answered a general question about whether we have untouchables,” the Cubs president said. “Like most every organization, we will listen to anything, but that’s just an operating philosophy.

“We are lucky to have some impact players and we are looking to add to them, not subtract.”

Bryant is coming off his worst year on the North Side statistically, batting .272 with 13 home runs and 52 RBI in an injury-shortened season. He is under team control through 2021.