Chicago Cubs: Exploring potential replacements for Kris Bryant
Whether we like it or not, Kris Bryant seems increasingly likely to be traded this offseason. Who could possibly fill his shoes as the Chicago Cubs third baseman?
At this point in time, it feels more like a ‘when’ rather than an ‘if’ when discussing the departure of Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant. The team, in desperate need to transition from back-to-back disappointing years, seems eager to find a suitable partner to take the third baseman.
Bryant has had a few struggles over the last two years thanks to injuries, but was largely phenomenal last year when not hurt. He posted a stellar 131 OPS+ while earning the third All-Star nod of his young career.
We’ve all heard it on repeat how Bryant won Rookie of the Year and MVP in his first two years with the league, but it bares repeating once more given this resume will likely no longer belong to the Cubs. Replacing a 25.1 WAR third baseman isn’t easy, but the team isn’t without options.
They could potentially explore a deal that includes getting a third baseman in a deal involving Bryant or another piece. This seems the most plausible given the strategy of solving the team’s problems via trade rather than free agency that the Cubs seem to be going for.
They could attempt to find somebody in free agency, but this is hardly likely given the team’s penny-pinching ways as of late. Besides, after Josh Donaldson and Anthony Rendon, the other options don’t inspire much confidence.
Finally, the team could look within the organization to find a suitable replacement. While this certainly isn’t ideal, it’s an option and one that I dislike. A lot.
Each of these options is worth exploring though to understand what the future could be without Bryant in the mix. The Chicago Cubs will have lots of options to explore this offseason, but this could end up being one of the most important after all.