Kris Bryant has played his final game in a Chicago Cubs uniform. That being said, he’ll always hold a special place in our hearts. After all, he not only helped erase a 108-year championship drought, but won NL Rookie of the Year, then MVP – and completely changed what it meant to play on the North Side.
So it only makes sense that as Bryant makes his first foray into free agency this winter, we’ll keep close tabs on the latest news. According to Bruce Levine, the three-time All-Star prefers to play on the West Coast (as he did this season with San Francisco) – which could help us get a better idea of some potential suitors.
Chicago Cubs: 3 likeliest teams to sign Kris Bryant – #3: San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres were supposed to be the big storyline this season. Well, they were, but not in the way they’d envisioned. A stunning second-half collapse left the Friars on the outside looking in come postseason time and now AJ Preller has to do some soul-searching if he wants to get things turned around in 2022.
I wrote earlier this weekend about a potential Cubs’ acquisition of Eric Hosmer in hopes of adding one of San Diego’s elite prospects, most likely outfielder Robert Hassell. This would free up a ton of money for the Padres, potentially allowing them to add a more versatile player such as Kris Bryant.
In an ideal world, the DH comes to the National League in the new CBA and you can just pencil Bryant in there most days and let him do what he does best: hit. But even if it doesn’t he’s capable of playing multiple positions, gets on base a ton and is more than capable of putting a team on his back when he gets hot.
Paired with Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth, Bryant would add another layer to an already solid San Diego lineup. Whether or not the team’s young arms take that next step remains to be seen, but finding a way to swap out some of that Hosmer money on the payroll for Bryant would be a solid step in putting the team back on the path to October.