Chicago Cubs: Trading Kris Bryant would be an unforgivable mistake

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Getting the right return seems unlikely right now

About a month ago, David Kaplan of NBC Sports Chicago reported that the Cubs had an astronomical asking price in any Bryant trade talks – which had caused a lot of teams to think twice when it came to acquiring the Chicago slugger.

"“The Cubs’ asking price for Bryant is a joke,” said a former big league GM. “They want nearly ready major league talent at the level of a Gleyber Torres type or close and there is no chance a team is going to give them a package of those caliber of players.”"

While this could be another case of someone too close to the team overvaluing what he brings to the table, that’s not how I look at it. Injuries in each of the past two campaigns have marred what would otherwise be a staggering start to a career.

Last year, despite a season-ending injury in late September, Bryant bounced back nicely after a 2018 campaign where he played hurt more often than not and his performance reflected as much. In 2019, he appeared in 147 games, hitting 31 home runs with a .903 OPS – as well as a .382 on-base percentage.

He can play third, first and both corner outfield spots – something that could become critical if the Cubs look to pivot toward whichever of the two NL West clubs vying for Mookie Betts come up short in their efforts. 

So pardon me if Theo Epstein has a high asking price. We’re talking about a player just three years removed from winning National League MVP honors. You cannot, under any circumstance, trade him just two get under the luxury tax threshold and hope some of the B-list prospects that come back your way happen to pan out.