Chicago Cubs: Kris Bryant to the Nationals wouldn’t work
The Washington Nationals are the latest team to be connected to Kris Bryant via trade rumors. It’s hard to see a match with the Chicago Cubs.
Over the past couple of days, as the Winter Meetings have been taking place, Chicago Cubs news has been dominated by the possibility of a Kris Bryant trade. This is in spite of the fact that, if he is traded, it likely won’t be until his service time grievance is resolved and/or free agents Anthony Rendon and Josh Donaldson sign somewhere.
In the past couple of days, Bryant has been linked to the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies. Now another National League East team, the Washington Nationals, have reportedly inquired about Bryant. It makes sense, since the Nationals have re-signed Stephen Strasburg meaning that they are likely out of the running to bring back Rendon, so they’ll need help at third base for 2020.
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However, looking at what the Nationals have available via trade, it seems a lot less likely that a deal with Washington could get done than a deal with Atlanta or Philadelphia could. While the Braves and Phillies both have young players that would interest the Cubs, the Nationals have relatively little that would likely be available.
For example, if the Cubs are looking for a potential replacement for Bryant at third, the Phillies have Alec Bohm while the Braves have Austin Riley.
The Nationals don’t have an obvious third base replacement in their system, nor do they have much to offer in terms of front-line pitching. Their best prospect, by far, is Carter Kieboom, a shortstop who may end up moving to second since the Nationals have Trea Turner for short and they’ll need a second baseman for 2020. Even if the Nationals were willing to part with Kieboom, that’s not going to be enough to get a deal done.
The other player who may come up in any possible discussion is Victor Robles, the 22-year-old center fielder who posted a 4.1 WAR and finished sixth in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2019. Robles was considered a top prospect before his arrival this past year, and it’s hard to imagine the Nationals giving him up for almost anyone.
If the Nationals were to offer Kieboom and Robles, the Cubs would have a hard time saying no. However, Washington isn’t going to do that. That being said, Kieboom would almost have to be included to make a deal happen, and the Nationals’ farm system isn’t strong enough to come up with more talent, nor do they have any young players on their roster that appear to be expendable.
So, it appears that there likely wouldn’t be a match between the Cubs and Nationals on a Kris Bryant trade. With all the trade rumors about him floating around, there are some we can take seriously and some that seem like a reach. This one likely falls into the latter category.