The Chicago Cubs may or may not be desperate this offseason to unload money from their payroll and I guess the best indication will be what they do to replace Kyle Schwarber. Go the cheap route and wait for next offseason to sign a big player or actually sign a decent outfielder now to a multi-year contract? You know, not just pocketing that money saved on Schwarber. Oh and of course the single biggest factor to how much money the Cubs are going to want to save is if they trade Kris Bryant prior to Opening Day 2021.
Let me tell you, though, the offers that have been speculated from around the league are mostly awful. At this point, trading Bryant would be insane simply because his perceived value is at an all-time low, coming off a bad 2020 season and a series of injuries that have gone hand-in-hand with his declining production. Plus, a team would only be getting Bryant for one year and it won’t come cheap, as the 2016 MVP is projected to make about $20 million in his last year of arbitration. How much would a team offer if Bryant hadn’t been affected by injuries in the past three seasons?
We can’t know that for sure, but what we do know is that as much as the conversation may be uncomfortable for some fans, the Cubs have been actively listening to trade offers for Bryant. However, if you’re worried about Bryant being dealt maybe you shouldn’t be after reading Jed Hoyer’s comments from the Winter Meetings.
Via NBC Sports Chicago.
“I think that’s been treated as a certainty,” he said. “Listen, Kris is a great player — he’s a superstar player — that obviously didn’t have the year last year that he had hoped. But when you look at our offense, there were several other players that had similar struggles.
“What do we expect from him in ’21? We expect far more of the normal Kris Bryant-type performance than we got last year,” Hoyer added.
“I don’t think it should be treated as a fait accompli that [a trade is] going to happen.”
You may have also noticed that Hoyer didn’t completely rule out a trade. So, let’s examine some potential trade proposals that were put together last week by seven MLB reporters. Some of these, oof. Which makes me think it’s just not worth trading Bryant.
MLB.com’s 7 Kris Bryant Trade Proposals
This article was written a few days after the tender deadline and can you believe how crazy it was that there were conversations had by top MLB reporters speculating whether or not the Cubs would non-tender Bryant to get out of paying him? Luckily that didn’t happen, but the trade rumors continued. Now, this isn’t framed as exact deals that are being discussed by the Cubs and other teams, but it’s a good piece that gives fans a national perspective on what Bryant’s trade value might be.
This MLB.com article features Bryant trades to the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Rangers, Mets, Braves, Nationals and Dodgers. Each one written by the team’s beat reporter, who also included why it makes sense for both sides and ultimately why one side would say no to the proposed trade. Make sure to click here to get the full perspective on each offer.
I broke down two of the trade proposals in the video linked above, as the Braves and Nationals have been the two clubs most connected to the Bryant in trade rumors since 2019. And oh my is the Nationals offer from MLB.com’s article bad. At this point, like I’m talking before Bryant can get his value back up by getting off to a hot start in 2021, the Cubs are hoping they can get something close to the Braves deal. Otherwise, yikes.
Again, don’t sell low on Kris Bryant!
Blue Jays get: 3B/OF Kris Bryant
Cubs get: LF Derek Fisher, C Reese McGuire, SS/3B Kevin Smith (Blue Jays’ No. 19 prospect), RHP Josh Winckowski (Blue Jays’ No. 26 prospect)
Dodgers get: 3B/OF Kris Bryant
Cubs get: UTIL Chris Taylor, OF DJ Peters (Dodgers’ No. 11 prospect)
Mets get: 3B/OF Kris Bryant
Cubs get: 3B/OF J.D. Davis, RHP Matthew Allan (Mets’ No. 4 prospect), RHP Robert Dominguez (Mets’ No. 13 prospect)
Rangers get: 3B/OF Kris Bryant
Cubs get: LHP Joe Palumbo (Rangers’ No. 9 prospect), 3B Davis Wendzel (Rangers’ No. 11 prospect), RHP Demarcus Evans (Rangers’ No. 22 prospect)
Red Sox get: 3B/OF Kris Bryant, LHP Burl Carraway (Cubs’ No. 10 prospect)
Cubs get: 3B/1B Bobby Dalbec (Red Sox’s No. 3 prospect)
Nationals get: 3B/OF Kris Bryant
Cubs get: INF Starlin Castro, RHP Wil Crowe (Nationals’ No. 3 prospect), LHP Seth Romero (Nationals’ No. 9 prospect), RHP Sterling Sharp (Nationals’ No. 24 prospect)
Braves get: 3B/OF Kris Bryant
Cubs get: LHP Kyle Muller (Braves’ No. 6 prospect), LHP Sean Newcomb, 3B Austin Riley
Funny enough, in four of these seven trade proposals, the reporters say the other team would ultimately say no to the deal. Imagine just a few years back that the majority of proposed trades, a team would say no to wanting Kris Bryant.
As far as how realistic some of these are, I don’t see the Rangers making a big swing in a trade, the Mets are probably going to add in free agency instead and I mean I don’t see the Cubs already trading Burl Carraway just to unload Bryant’s money to get a better return.