We’ve covered the Kris Bryant rumors ad nauseam this offseason. But there’s more to report – with the Chicago Cubs looking for a big name in return.
The Washington Nationals have been a contender in the Kris Bryant and Josh Donaldson sweepstakes all offseason, and their interest in Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant will depend on what happens with the latter. Donaldson currently has four-year offers from the Twins, Nationals, and Braves, according to reports.
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The Cubs should be shooting for the roof when talking a Bryant trade. He is a former National League MVP and has been one of the most consistent players in baseball since his debut, at least when healthy.
Along with Robles, players such as Jackson Rutledge and Carter Kieboom may also be involved, but the Nats might not want to part with two young players in Kieboom and Robles in the same trade.
Much of a Bryant trade hinges on a decision on his service-time grievance. Frankly, it’s a joke that it’s taken this long to decide. He’s either a free agent after 2020 or 2021. It’s not hard, make a decision. The Cubs have been reported to want Nick Castellanos back and any decision on Castellanos depends on a trade to move salary. Isn’t baseball fun sometimes?
The obvious way to move salary would be to trade Jason Heyward, but there doesn’t seem to be any legitimate takers. At least, none that we have heard of publicly. That would free up lots of room and a position for Castellanos.
Say the Cubs trade Bryant and do somehow snag Robles too, and are able to re-sign Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber/Robles/Castellanos across the outfield with Albert Almora and Heyward on the bench suddenly doesn’t look so bad. That is, of course, if there are no more trades after Bryant.
Robles was worth 2.5 fWAR according to Fangraphs in 2019 and has a 65 future value rating on the 20-80 scale. The potential for him is sky-high and what better team to reach it with than the Cubs?
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It’s no guarantee that Bryant is even traded, or what his value currently is. If the team gets him for two years, his value obviously increases, but if he wins his grievance and is a free agent after 2020, the team may not get anybody remotely close to the caliber of Robles. Chicago desperately needs a decision to continue business this winter.