Could the Cubs trade Kris Bryant to the Yankees or even the Cardinals?

Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant is the team’s top bargaining chip. The Cubs could look to old foes to find some long-desired payroll flexibility.

The Chicago Cubs could be hundreds of millions of dollars in the hole after the dust clears from the worldwide pandemic that has left big league ballparks empty across the country. The Cubs know that the main chess piece they have to move in the race for money is Kris Bryant.

There is no need to rehash the accomplishments of this young Cubs superstar as most fans, players and owners know what Bryant is capable of bringing to the table in terms of both offense and defense. The problem for Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein is not what the young Las Vegas native can do on the field, but what value he can bring to the club that desperately needs money.

Before spring training began, Bryant’s name was being thrown around as a good fit for the Colorado Rockies third base spot in a potential trade for multi-Gold Glove winning All-Star Nolan Arenado. The Rockies slugger hasn’t backed off his stance on getting out of the Mile High City – so it stands to reason the Cubs and Rockies could keep talking once baseball resumes. 

Two other clubs have surfaced that are in need of a solid third baseman and can possibly afford the star-power of Bryant although one may be a bridge too far to reach. The St. Louis Cardinals have been touting their current third base choice, Tommy Edman in the media.  The words that management like to use for Edman are, consistent, comfortable but not perfect, by any means.  To be sure Edman isn’t a fluke, the Cards have longtime veteran Matt Carpenter waiting in the wings as a backup at third.

Bryant would have no issues assuming the third base spot for the Cards but would St. Louis fans forget the “St. Louis is boring,” comment that Bryant made in early 2019? At the time, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina made a lot of smack talk about the Cubs third base star and the comment that stung across the Midwest. Now, Molina’s contract is up this season with the Cards. Unless Molina retires as a Cardinal; he may be on his way to a new organization next season.

Problem solved?

Another organization that could afford the price tag for Bryant and needs some added pop at third base are the New York Yankees. Projected Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela broke out in a big way last season, but no one knows if it’s sustainable. They could look to Miguel Andujar, as well – but we’re talking apples and oranges here. Bryant is a bonafide superstar whose stat sheet is performing ‘Bryant’s Song’; which happens to sound exactly like, ‘Anything you can do, I’ve doubled!”

In just about every category from turning double plays to hitting home runs, Bryant’s stats are beyond Urshela’s. It’s the difference of a good team player at third, versus an MVP. The Yankees are always looking for stars and might be able to utilize the dynamic Urshela at first base or off the bench.

Bringing in Bryant and moving Urshela to first base in 2021 could be the dynamic the Yankees need. Go ask any Bronx Bombers fan if they’d like Bryant at third base over Urshela and you begin to understand the Cubs’ bargaining chip’s value.

Next: Where is former Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija at these days?

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While no one in Chicago wants to see Bryant leave the North Side; it certainly will bring the cash that the Cubs need right now to move forward and pay for the second offseason of 2020.