Bryant joins Rizzo, Baez in going deeep on Day 1
Wouldn't you know it, the three ex-Cubs went 3-for-3 with their new teams.
Kris Bryant capped the triple play Sunday by hitting a solo home run in his debut with the San Francisco Giants. Anthony Rizzo and Javy Baez were first to go deep in new uniforms. A few weeks ago, Joc Pederson homered in his first start for Atlanta.
But Bryant had a long way to travel, going from hugging hitting coach Anthony Iapoce and wiping away tears in the visitors dugout at Nationals Park in Washington all the way to the West Coast.
"There's a ton of emotions, some tears and saying goodbye to a lot of my teammates was tough, but we're onto new things and hopefully some really great memories here," Bryant told reporters in San Francisco before the game. The book is closed on that chapter of my life, but this one seems just as exciting and I'm ready to get going."
Bryant talked about how Barry Bonds was his favorite player growing up, to the point where his mom bought a Bonds autograph at the mall for him.
"I'm happy to be going to a team like the San Francisco Giants," Bryant said. "I thanked (Cubs president) Jed (Hoyer) for trading me to a team like this. I want to go to a team that wants to win the World Series."
Bryant went 1-for-4 in his debut by the Bay and the Giants beat Houston 5-3. The Giants have a trip to Wrigley Field scheduled for Sept. 10-12.
Here's a rundown of the other Cubs who left town this week:
• Rizzo's popularity in New York is sky-high after he homered in each of his first two games with the Yankees. Overall, he went 4-for-5 at the plate, with 3 walks and 5 runs scored in those first two games in Miami.
Rizzo hit leadoff Sunday and had a quieter afternoon, going 1-for-4, but he did drive home the tying run with an RBI single in the eighth inning of a game the Yankees went on to win 3-1. Rizzo will make his Yankee Stadium debut Monday against Baltimore.
• Baez also homered in his Mets debut on Saturday, drawing a curtain call from fans at Citi Field. He went 0-for-4 in Sunday's loss to the Reds but did throw out a runner at home plate on a relay.
• Craig Kimbrel threw perfect innings for the White Sox both Saturday and Sunday. Ryan Tepera gave up a home run in his Sox debut on Friday.
• Andrew Chafin has had three scoreless outings for Oakland.
• Jake Marisnick made his Padres debut Sunday, starting in center field and going 0-for-3.
Meanwhile, the Cubs played a series in Washington this weekend with plenty of new faces in the clubhouse. The players left from the World Series team are Willson Contreras, Jason Heyward, Kyle Hendricks and Jake Arrieta, who left the Cubs and came back this year.
On Saturday, Contreras told reporters in Washington he is willing to stick around and lead the next era of Cubs baseball, whatever that may be.
"I would love to stay here," Contreras said. "I love Chicago. I love my city. I love the team. This is the only team that I've played for, and if they want to rebuild around me, I'm open to talks. I'm not going to say I'm not, because I love my team.
"Any decisions they're going to make with me, I'll be open. And who knows? I'm not thinking about getting moved or getting traded. I'm thinking of guiding these guys in the right way. I'm trying to be the leader, and I'm going to do my best."
Contreras will be in the final year of his contract next season, the same situation Bryant, Baez and Rizzo were in this summer.
"I see a lot of talent on this team," he said. "And obviously, probably, they're going to add some more during the offseason. But who knows? You ask me about getting an extension. I'm open to it. My door has always been open. Whenever they want to talk, I'll be open, with my agents.
"It was really tough to see my brothers go. But at the end of the day this is a business, and we all have to understand the front office will do whatever they think is better for the team. The moves were made, and there is no looking back, and there is no regrets. From now on, we have to move forward and rebuild this team."