Chicago Cubs: The crown jewel of a de-Lux package?
Since he has been the biggest name mentioned in trade talks over the past few months and he’s been the best Cubs player over the last five seasons, it makes for some kind of ironic or twisted ending to have Kris Bryant shipped off to our greatest playoff nemesis over that same time period- the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This is a rumor that has seemed to get some traction the past few weeks, especially as viable third base options have come off the map. If the Dodgers are looking to replace Justin Turner at the hot corner (or shift him over to first base), it makes sense a play for Bryant could be in the works. The Dodgers have more money than anyone but the Yankees and they certainly haven’t been shy about spending it over the years. A play for Bryant after seven straight disappointing seasons might be what they think they need to put them over the top.
The Dodgers aren’t going to want to part with top prospect Gavin Lux, but if that’s the price, they may just be desperate enough to pay it if they think Bryant will push them over the top in the National League the next two years. If the Cubs can land the middle-infield prospect, he could kill two birds with one stone for the Cubs, allowing them to have a second baseman and leadoff man for many years. It would also allow them to use Nico Hoerner either in centerfield or at third base and give them a much more contact-oriented lineup with both youngsters added.
It remains to be seen if the Dodgers would part with Lux, but he’d be the start of the talks, with one or two other guys landing Bryant for sure. While rumors have circulated around red-headed right-hander Dustin May, the Cubs might not be able to swing both Lux and May.
Settling for Josiah Gray might be nearly as good though, as they’re both 22 and have similar prospect credentials. May might be a bit more advanced, but Gray and Lux would be a good haul if the Cubs decide to deal Bryant. If the Cubs want a guy who can help immediately, Tony Gonsolin might be another guy to target amongst Dodger prospects, a right-hander who has already seen time in the bigs as well.
While it’s likely none of the trade proposals I’ve thrown out over the past six weeks are going to happen, I’ve done my best to be as realistic as possible in looking at needs, wants, and constraints of both the Cubs and the team in each trade. My turn as Epstein and Hoyer may have been a bit optimistic, but hope springs eternal and it’s hard not to wear a bit of a rose tint every now and then.