Chicago Cubs: Which 3 Cubs could be traded during the 2020 season?

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Kris Bryant / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: A trade of Bryant would shake fans to their core

When the Cubs reported to spring training in Mesa in February, it seemed very possible Kris Bryant might not be among them. But the former National League MVP and Rookie of the Year suited up for the club and remains one of the faces of the franchise at this moment.

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Epstein was handcuffed for almost the entire offseason as he awaited the long-anticipated ruling on Bryant’s service time grievance that was filed five years ago. There was no way to shop Bryant effectively without knowing whether you had one or two years of control over the young slugger.

I mean, it’s possible even though the Cubs came out on top in the hearing, they still get just one year of control over Bryant – but we’ll have to wait and see on that front. He’ll make a prorated $18.6 million salary this year, after his next-to-last pass through arbitration – a massive sum considering the team’s payroll situation.

Trading Bryant might be the quickest way toward a competitive future. You’d reset your luxury tax penalties, bring in a strong return of young talent and avoid parting ways after next season with nothing to show but a draft pick when he walks in free agency.

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Sure, maybe the two sides agree on a long-term extension and Bryant is a Cub for life. But if you’re a betting man, this is the guy who seems most likely to be wearing a different uniform by year’s end.