Amidst the Kris Bryant rumors, the Cubs will reportedly tender him a contract.
The Chicago Cubs will tender Kris Bryant a contract prior to Wednesday’s non-tender deadline, as reported by MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman.
The news comes as little surprise to many who have been following the offseason Kris Bryant rumors involving the former MVP and the Cubs. Most analysts believe Bryant will be making ~$18 million for this upcoming season. This makes Bryant a one-year rental player, so unless teams are willing to go all-in with the belief the former MVP turns them into an immediate World Series contender, Jed Hoyer and the Cubs have limited leverage in trade talks.
If that’s the case, the Cubs are better off holding onto Bryant for one last hoorah, or moving him at the trade deadline where contending teams will be willing to take a bigger risk and offer more value.
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The Washington Nationals are the most recent trade partner linked to a possible deal to land Bryant. As mentioned by Heyman, the reluctance of GM Mike Rizzo to part ways with top pitching prospects Jackson Rutledge and Cade Cavalli might keep the trade from happening. Current big leaguer Victor Robles has been mentioned in rumors, though it appears the Nationals aren’t ready to move on from their 23-year-old outfielder either.
While there are no official reports, Heyman does mention a few other teams where Bryant would “fit” their needs.
The Toronto Blue Jays are thought to be aggressively going for it all in 2021, and a veteran who is still in his prime like Bryant could put them over the top. Toronto has a top-five farm system, including pitcher Nate Pearson who is currently #6 on the MLB top 100 prospect list. If not Bryant, the Blue Jays have more than enough young talent to land a star from another team.
Bryant to the Mets makes sense from a financial standpoint, but from what they could offer in return as far as talent I’m not sure what makes Heyman believe this would be a potential trade partner. Maybe if the Cubs were in a desperate need to move Bryant they could send him to New York, but they’ve waited this long so I don’t see it happening.
I think the same can be said with the Giants. While they might have some players to piece together a decent trade package, there haven’t been many signs of San Francisco going all-in for the 2021 season. Maybe Heyman was trying to stir the pot with this one.
Unless Bryant is traded before Wednesday’s deadline, teams will have until January 15 to exchange player salaries. As baseball fans know the offseason activity is painfully slow, and Hoyer has already said he believes this offseason will move even slower than usual. The state of uncertainty will leave many teams, including the Cubs, waiting to see how the market plays out in these next couple of months before making any type of big moves.
If I had to bet, I say Bryant stays in Chicago until at least the 2021 trade deadline. Regardless, there won’t be any shortage of Kris Bryant rumors swirling this offseason.