Chicago Cubs: These three teams could be ready to trade for Kris Bryant

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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These three teams are the perfect candidates to make a bid for Kris Bryant.

As the offseason heats up, so do the trade rumors surrounding the Chicago Cubs. The latest reports say the Cubs are listening to all offers and there are no untouchables on the roster. One player who has been linked to multiple rumors over the past few seasons is third baseman Kris Bryant.

The former Rookie of the Year and NL MVP is entering his final year of arbitration eligibility and is set to hit the free agent market following the 2021 season, joining teammates Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Kyle Schwarber. The Cubs have until Dec. 2 to trade Bryant before his salary for this upcoming season (~$18 mil) becomes official.

The biggest issue surrounding a possible trade of Bryant, along with the other core position players is their declining value. Since being named the NL Most Valuable Player in 2016, Bryant has seen a dip in production at the plate combined with injury plagued seasons. Aside from 2020, Bryant’s numbers weren’t exactly terrible, but they’re disappointing for what the fans and organization expect given his talents.

Kris Bryant Career Statistics:

  • 2015: (151 games) .275 BA 26 HR 99 RBI .858 OPS – Rookie of the Year
  • 2016: (155 games) .292 BA 39 HR 102 RBI .939 OPS – National League MVP
  • 2017: (151 games) .295 BA 29 HR 73 RBI .946 OPS
  • 2018: (102 games) .272 BA 13 HR 52 RBI .834 OPS
  • 2019: (147 games) .282 BA 31 HR 77 RBI .903 OPS
  • 2020: (34 games) .206 BA 4 HR 11 RBI .644 OPS

At 28 years old, it’s hard to believe Bryant’s best playing days are behind him, which is why there could still be teams in the league who are willing to take a chance and part ways with their future talents to make a trade. Just how much of a risk these teams are willing to take remains to be seen.

If I were Theo Epstein and the Chicago Cubs, I would rather take the gamble and keep Bryant for this upcoming season and hope he can turn it around if there isn’t a reasonable offer on the table. Worst case scenario if next season isn’t promising, they could move him at the deadline where other contenders might be more desperate for a right-handed bat. Assuming he can post better offensive numbers than he did last season (fingers crossed) his value will increase at that time.

With Bryant being a one-year rental, these teams would be the likely candidates to roll the dice in the upcoming weeks.