In a monumental blockbuster that almost was, details have recently emerged on what would have been the biggest move at this year’s already hectic trade deadline. The Chicago Cubs almost sent not just Javier Baez and Trevor Williams to the Big Apple, but also former National League MVP Kris Bryant, as well.
Unfortunately for Chicago, it didn’t come to fruition based on the question marks regarding Jacob deGrom’s health and how much the lack of his presence in the rotation hindered the New York Mets’ postseason chances.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
Sending Bryant and Baez to New York in return for Pete Crow-Armstrong, another touted prospect and a big league player with remaining team control would have been far and away the best return the Cubs would have gotten at the deadline. Keeping in mind that we don’t know for sure, but one could speculate it may have been of the Brett Baty/Ronny Mauricio caliber or if not, maybe someone closer to big league status in Khalil Lee in Triple-A. Either way, we may never know. The fact is, it’s a shame the Mets didn’t pull the trigger.
As far as the big league player in return, one could only think it meant JD Davis perhaps, who would replace Bryant at third base. Either way, it shows you Bryant’s value. The Cubs got Pete Crow-Armstrong for Baez and Trevor Williams. By adding in Bryant they would have gotten another highly touted prospect and a big leaguer? Wow. Almost makes you wish they traded Bryant instead of Baez for that return alone. However, a third baseman wasn’t what the Mets need at the time.
Chicago Cubs: New York Mets went with Javier Baez – and it hasn’t gone well
What they desperately needed was a shortstop to replace the injured Francisco Lindor. Baez had stated he wished to play along side his good friend and got his wish shortly after as he was traded away at the deadline.
Bryant has since enjoyed his time in San Francisco, playing for a team that looks locked in and hoping to take the NL West crown this season. Should the Giants snap the Dodgers’ division winning streak, they will be the NL team I root for personally. I wish nothing but the best for Bryant and his career.
On the bright side, Bryant’s return did net the Cubs outfielder Alexander Canario and pitcher Caleb Kilian who have high upside in their own right. It does look like the Mets might have had the better offer on the table but balked, leaving Jed Hoyer no choice but to take the next-best offer from the Giants.
Hindsight is 20/20, but it would be interesting to know more details about this trade that will never be. Canario is currently batting .269 in South Bend and Kilian has his ERA at 2.42 on the 2021 season between High-A, Double-A Richmond and now Double-A Tennessee. He has pitched five innings in each of his last three starts, allowing four runs in one outing, two in two others and just one in another.
Needless to say, the prospects Chicago received for Bryant were not a bad haul at all. Though it will be a couple years before they impact the Cubs at the major league level, they are two that definitely have the potential to make a mark at Wrigley Field.