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Cubs infielders Kris Bryant, Javier Baez sent down to minors

Chicago Cubs infielders Kris Bryant and Javier Baez have been sent down to the minors.
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The Chicago Cubs reassigned third baseman Kris Bryant to the team's minor league camp and optioned second baseman Javier Baez to Triple A Iowa, the team announced on Monday. 

Shortstop Addison Russell will also join Bryant in the minor league camp.

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Sending Bryant down was expected as the 23-year-old was expected to start the season in the minor leagues. That move allows the Cubs to push back his free agency to the end of the 2021 season if he stays in the minors at least 12 days.

Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein spoke about the team's handling of Bryant last week, saying any decision made about Bryant would be a "baseball decision."

"It's not about business. People are trying to make this about business. There are valid baseball reasons," Epstein said to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Bryant has hit .425 with nine home runs and 15 RBI in 14 spring training games.

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Earlier this month, Bryant's agent, Scott Boras, ripped the team's plan to have the third baseman start the season in the minors. 

Baez, 22, was thought to be in line for the starting job at second. He played in 52 games last season, batting .169 with nine home run and 20 RBI.

- Scooby Axson