As much as it pains me to say it, I still believe the Chicago Cubs are going to trade Kris Bryant in the next two months.
Never mind the fact he’s the clear-cut MVP of this team and a serious contender for NL MVP a little over a month into the 2021 campaign. Forget the fact he’s punishing fastballs in a way we haven’t seen from him in years. Oh, and let’s just look past his insane versatility defensively, while maintaining elite-level offensive production.
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While I’d love to sit here writing about the Cubs working to extend their three-time All-Star, it feels like a foregone conclusion that, at some point, Chicago will trade Bryant in hopes of recovering at least some value before the 29-year-old hits free agency at season’s end.
Bryant currently leads the league in doubles (12) and OPS+ (185). He enters play Sunday batting .304/.386/.643 – which, if sustained for the entire year, would represent the highest OPS of his big league career. Now, we’re in early May and there is a ton of baseball left to be played, but there’s no questioning what this guy is capable of doing when he’s healthy.
And for all those reasons, you can bet Jed Hoyer is going to start getting calls on Bryant – if he hasn’t already. There are too many teams looking to jump-start their offense and the list of suitors will only grow as he continues to show he can play pretty much anywhere you put him. In other words, we’re not just talking about teams with a need at the hot corner any longer.
Cubs: Kris Bryant trade suitors will keep calling over the next two months
The Mets and Dodgers still look like potential destinations, with teams like the Braves and Nationals also a possibility. Injuries could add teams like the White Sox to the mix, but after the Jose Quintana-Eloy Jimenez trade, seeing the two Chicago teams hook up on another blockbuster would be pretty wild.
Already this season, we’ve seen Bryant at all three outfield positions, as well as third and first base. Given his offensive makeup, there’s little questioning the value he brings on that front, but it’s that versatility that’s going to completely change the game when it comes to the Cubs shopping him.
This summer, trade rumors around Bryant, Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Craig Kimbrel seem likely to be the dominant story on the North Side. As painful as it’ll be to see any of these guys go, particularly the former trio, at this point it seems like we can just take solace in the fact the front office is poised to cash in on a major bounce back showing from Bryant.