A rumor that appeared on Saturday had the Chicago Cubs interested in acquiring Nolan Arenado and keeping Kris Bryant. There’s no way this could happen.
If the past two-plus months are any indication, the Chicago Cubs are currently unable (or at least unwilling) to spend any money on major league talent this offseason, not even for a bench player. Because of that, it seems absurd that the team would acquire Nolan Arenado from the Colorado Rockies to play third base in 2020, even while trading away Kris Bryant, and to take on Arenado’s massive contract.
That’s why the latest rumor that is appearing around the internet on Saturday seems so ridiculous: That the Cubs are interested in acquiring Arenado AND keep Bryant, possibly to play center field. Never mind the fact that Bryant has so little experience playing center field in the majors. There’s just no way this is going to happen.
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Sure, it would be nice to have both Arenado and Bryant on the same club. Yet there are only two ways this has any chance whatsoever of happening. One would be that the Cubs would have to unload their already weak farm system; if that happens, you’d think that at least three out of Brailyn Marquez, Nico Hoerner, Brennen Davis, and Miguel Amaya would have to be included. Even if they could afford to do that, they’d have to find a way to clear lots of salary elsewhere.
The other scenario would involve the club unloading some major league salary directly to the Rockies. Jason Heyward, Jose Quintana, and Tyler Chatwood are among those who would need to go the other way in such a move, but it doesn’t seem like the Rockies would do that, especially if they’re indeed punting on 2020.
But let’s say that something materializes from one of the above scenarios. Would the Cubs be able to match the offer of other teams, specifically the St. Louis Cardinals? One rumor has the Cardinals offering the newly acquired Matthew Liberatore, Dakota Hudson, Carlos Martinez, and Tyler O’Neill.
It’s unclear how much truth there is to this rumor, but there’s no way the Cubs could match that if it’s true. This move would set the Rockies up to still potentially be contenders in 2020 while setting them up for better long-term success. The Cubs simply don’t have a realistic trade package that could put the Rockies in that position.
So it seems that as we continue to go deeper into this offseason without the Cubs doing anything of significance, the trade rumors are getting more and more far-fetched. I’d love to have Nolan Arenado and Kris Bryant both playing in Chicago in 2020 – especially since it would keep Arenado out of St. Louis – but it seems virtually impossible that this could ever happen.