At this point, nothing we’re hearing on the Kris Bryant rumors front is necessarily surprising. The latest from Jeff Passan, though, still hurt, with him saying the Chicago Cubs All-Star is ‘as good as gone’ with 10 days till the trade deadline.
"Bryant is as good as gone. Like I was saying, the versatility: 14 games played in center field (and remarkably well for someone who goes 6-foot-5, 240 pounds) among his 56 in the outfield and 28 at his natural position, third base. The needs everywhere are acute."
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Bryant has slowed down a ton offensively since the start of June, but still ranks as one of the top five-most valuable trade candidates in the game. Despite the downturn, the four-time All-Star has still managed a 127 OPS+ heading into action Tuesday night.
The Chicago utilityman is slashing .265/.345/.490 with 16 homers and 48 RBI – all while playing regularly at first and third, as well as all three outfield spots.
At this point, if you’re holding out hope for a last-minute Hail Mary that keeps Bryant on the North Side the rest of his career… just let go. It’s not going to happen. Hence someone like Passan, widely considered one of the most reputable national writers in the game, using a phrase like ‘good as gone’. It’s happening. Come to terms with it.
Chicago Cubs Rumors: Where will Kris Bryant wind up?
But where will the former National League MVP call home when the sun sets on July 30? It’s anybody’s guess – although for quite some time, we seem to keep circling back to the tightly packed National League East. Here’s what Passan says specifically about some of potential matches in that division.
"The Mets need a bat — and could use him at third and all three outfield spots. Alec Bohm has been sub-replacement-level at third for the Phillies, and Bryant over Odubel Herrera in center is an easy call, too. A domestic violence investigation sidelined Nationals third baseman Starlin Castro. And that’s just in the NL East."
Passan goes on to mention Atlanta as yet another team in the NL East that could come calling, which makes sense given the Braves lost Ronald Acuna Jr. for the year and Bryant has shown he is more than capable of handling everyday reps in the outfield.
We also don’t have any updates on the extension talk front with either Javier Baez or Anthony Rizzo. Baez is reportedly seeking $200 million in a new deal, which is never going to happen – and Rizzo doesn’t sound like he’s anxiously holding his breath on a contract getting done in the next week-and-a-half.
Which means we could be in the final 10 days of Baez, Bryant and Rizzo in Cubs uniforms. That’s a tough one to come to terms with.