Mesa, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Cubs made the move many fans feared the club would, assigning third baseman Kris Bryant to minor league camp on Monday.

The slugger leads all players with nine homers during spring training this season, hitting .425 with 15 RBI and 14 runs scored over just 40 at-bats in 14 games.

The move was expected as the Cubs attempt to delay Bryant's free agency by a year by keeping him in the minors for the first few weeks of the season.

The Cubs on Monday also optioned infielder Javier Baez to Triple-A Iowa, assigned infielder Addison Russell to minor league camp and selected the contract of veteran reliever Phil Coke from Iowa.

Baez was vying for the starting second baseman position, but hit just .173 with one homer and one RBI in 52 at-bats in 16 games this spring.

Coke, who joined the Cubs on a minor league deal on March 5, hasn't allowed a run in 7 1/3 innings this spring.

The 32-year-old spent the previous five seasons with Detroit and went 5-2 with a 3.88 ERA in 62 appearances for the Tigers in 2014.