Professional sports are a business. It's always an excuse when veterans are cut or either players or managers are dealt with harshly.
But, both Chicago baseball teams made a shrewd business moves this week, and they decided to leave money on the table.
You see, two of baseball's top prospects are the property of Chicago teams.
Well, more than that really.
But, two of the best ones – Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant and White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon - were left off their team's lists of September call-ups.
The math is the difficult part.
North Side math
Bryant might just be the best hitting prospect in the game, though fellow Cubs minor leaguer Kyle Schwarber was just named the team's August minor league player of the month.
Bryant hit 43 homers in the minors this year. But, while fellow prospects Javier Baez and Jorge Soler are up with the Cubs, Bryant's season is over.
The money I was talking about earlier was from ticket sales, merchandise, overall buzz and people watching Cubs games. Bryant certainly would have created an uptick.
On the flip-side, there is no guarantee Bryant will even start next season with the Cubs as the team plays with his arbitration clock, hoping to put off having their star become arbitration-eligible for another season, a game teams play each season that pushes call-ups into early June.
“But if this is a performance-driven industry as it should be, Bryant deserves the callup, based on performance,” Bryant's agent, Scott Boras, told the Chicago Sun-Times.
“What’s best for the player, what’s best for the team in 2015? The goal here is trying to make the team the best it can be in 2015. And what can you do to ready him for that?”
Boras, clearly upset, went on to argue that the final month of the season would allow for Bryant to acclimate, like Mike Trout did for the Angels when he hit .220 in 40 games and then came back to be MVP runner-up and rookie of the year the next season.
On the South Side
The White Sox, on the other hand, have a different animal in lefty pitcher Carlos Rodon,
The lefty was the No. 3 overall pick of the White Sox in June and went from Single-A to Triple-A this season.
After signing in mid-July, he was outstanding in his 24 2/3 innings, including pitching in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,200 in his Triple-A debut on Aug. 19.
"It just wasn't the right time in his development to bring him to the big leagues … and ask him to get big-league hitters out," White Sox GM Rick Hahn told the Chicago Tribune.
"We are very pleased with how he finished up his first several weeks as a pro. We fully expect him to come to big-league camp next year and compete for a spot on the 2015 White Sox. That's how far along he is in his development."
He'll be ready at some point, but his team decided it was too soon to try it now.
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