Recent moves may have you relaxing a bit, but the Cubs could still keep selling.
After an offseason of inactivity, we’d all pretty much accepted the team once dubbed the ‘Lovable Losers’ were ready to punt on the 2021 campaign.
But after last week, which saw the Chicago Cubs sign Joc Pederson and Trevor Williams, there may be a very muted sense of optimism in the minds of fans. If I were you, I’d ignore that voice in every way possible because it’s still totally feasible the teardown will continue between now and Opening Day.
Cubs: The market for Kris Bryant is yet to come to a head
All winter, we’ve heard Kris Bryant’s name come up in trade rumors and speculation. The last we heard, the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays were the likeliest landing spots for him – although, since then, the Jays added Marcus Semien via free agency.
After that move, it’s hard to envision a fit in Toronto. They’re loaded in the infield and have decent outfield depth – which would be the backup plan for Bryant given his experience in the corner spots. As for the Mets? It’s anybody’s guess, really. In theory, they could still go out and trade for the former MVP – but it seems like new owner Steve Cohen has his hands full battling Reddit at the moment.
By my estimation, the biggest wild card in all this is Justin Turner. The longtime Dodgers third baseman is still available and could be a solution for teams looking for a middle-of-the-order presence who can man the hot corner.
He’s reportedly seeking a four-year deal (good luck with that). Los Angeles is supposedly only willing to give him two, and there hasn’t been much new news on that front. If a team that has Turner in its sights misses out, Bryant is a pretty solid consolation prize.
Other teams that could make sense for Bryant include the Washington Nationals, Dodgers (barring the return of Turner in 2021) and the Astros (who could slot Bryant into the outfield and add to the offense after losing George Springer). Again, it’s hard to limit a list of teams when you’re talking about one year of a guy absolutely capable of carrying an offense. And, for what it’s worth, the list will only grow once the season starts and teams’ needs become clearer.