With one trade already under their belts after sending Joc Pederson to Atlanta, things may heat up in a hurry for the Chicago Cubs. According to Jon Heyman, multiple teams have expressed interest in four-time All-Star Kris Bryant – including the New York Mets.
Bryant is, at least in my mind, the most valuable and versatile trade chip out on the market right now. He’d be sought after even if he still primarily played third base. But given the fact he has regularly played five different spots for Chicago this season, it’s safe to say the list of teams he could help exponentially expanded during the first half.
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The fact New York’s interest continues, though, is of note given the Cubs and Mets had talks regarding the former National League MVP as recently as this January. Third base has been a black hole for Luis Rojas’ club this year – both defensively and offensively.
New York third basemen rank 29th in UZR, according to Fangraphs, and the loss of JD Davis has really hurt the club. He’ll make his return to the field this weekend and could make sense as a piece coming back to Chicago in any potential Bryant trade. Prior to hitting the shelf for over two months, Davis was on an absolute tear, hitting .390/.479/.610 in his first 14 games of the season.
In his rehab assignment, he didn’t miss a beat, either, slashing a robust .306/.457/.667 in 46 plate appearances. If he carries that production to the Big Apple, it’s worth wondering if the Mets cool their reported pursuit of Bryant given Davis is under team control through 2025. Then again, there’s no mandate he’s included in a trade; Chicago could instead focus on prospects in any deal.
Chicago Cubs: A tight NL East race could push teams to trade for Kris Bryant
For months now, three National League East teams have looked like potential matches in a Kris Bryant trade: the aforementioned Mets, Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals. You can’t sleep on a team like the Phillies, either – all four of those teams are separated by just six games.
Like I said, Bryant fits just about everywhere on a roster. We could see the NL East teams be motivated just as much by keeping him from a division rival as they’d be boosting their own club.
The clock is ticking. Make no mistake, this won’t be the last rumor we hear when it comes to KB. But the continued interest of the Mets should definitely have us all keeping our eye on that team as we hurtle to the July 30 trade deadline.