Chicago Cubs: The logistics of a Kris Bryant trade
Seems easy to say the Cubs can just trade Bryant for an absolute haul of young players/prospects. It avoids paying $250-$300 million to one player, restocks your depleted farm system and gives you materials to reconstruct major areas of the team for the long run.
However that is all just best-case scenario talk that can be very hard to make reality. Breaking down one area at a time. First of all, there needs to be a market for Bryant. A team or team(s) who not only have a need for a star like Bryant right now, but also have the capital to get him.
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Bryant is a career .284/.382/.514 hitter with an .899 OPS, 133 homers, 139 wRC+, 13.5 UBR and 27.4 fWAR player in just 692 games. Want to give this up for a haul of young prospects? Prospects are unknowns and Bryant is an established All-Star who is not even 30 yet.
Exchanging that would be very risky, to say the least. I’m not saying it could not pay off, but still a big risk. You better be sure you are not selling him short and getting the returned value you want. It also depends on if teams think getting a guy who will be a free agent soon for a hefty price of assets and not cash is worth it.
The Cubs would also have to replace him immediately if they want to shake up and contend. Probably the most popular name is Anthony Rendon who is set to be a free agent his offseason. He is going to command a big paycheck as well, and the Cubs would need to have him locked up first before potentially trading Bryant….and they better be sure they have suitors for Bryant as well. Much easier said than done.
To sum it up fast: It takes two to tango and the partner better be a dang good dancer and give you a good time.