Since sitting in the Wrigley Field seats for Kris Bryant’s emotional return to Wrigley Field as a member of the Giants, I’d firmly shut the door in my mind when it came to thoughts of any potential reunion between the former NL MVP and the Chicago Cubs.
But, ever so slowly, that door has inched its way back open – and Tuesday’s report from FanSided’s Robert Murray certainly didn’t help matters. In a podcast appearance with Mark Carman and Russell Dorsey, here’s what Murray had to say about Bryant:
"“That is something I’ve been working on behind the scenes. I was told by somebody who would know Chicago: ‘I would not rule it out.’ And it’s been on my mind ever since. I’m tracking that one …. I do think Kris Bryant going back to Chicago is a realistic scenario. And the number you threw out – 27, 28 million bucks – makes a whole lotta sense …. ”"
To this point, we’d heard pretty much nothing as far as Bryant goes. We know the Giants might want him back, but not at the asking price he and Scott Boras have floated. The Mariners, a team on the rise, has been connected to him at multiple instances, including when they made a ‘heavy push’ to acquire him at the trade deadline.
But the Cubs? Radio silence – despite having tens of millions of dollars at their disposal in available payroll and multiple glaring needs in the lineup Bryant could immediately remedy.
A Chicago Cubs – Kris Bryant reunion still remains a long shot in my mind
I’d still personally say that Bryant plays elsewhere in 2022. Right before the lockout hit, Chicago was listed as one of two frontrunners for superstar shortstop Carlos Correa. I think we can safely assume if Jed Hoyer shocks us all and signs Correa, that almost certainly closes the door on a Bryant reunion.
But if Correa signs elsewhere and Bryant is still out there? There’s at least a possibility of a deal getting done. Again, in my eyes there’s a very low probability of all the chips falling just right, but it’s certainly easy enough to see how those pieces fit together.
Correa, Nick Castellanos, Trevor Story and Kyle Schwarber all sign elsewhere. Bryant is still out there. The Cubs need that impact bat and positional depth at multiple positions he plays. Maybe the connection to the city and organization (not to mention the financials) lure him back?
Maybe Bryant can’t find the deal he wants and winds up looking for something similar to what Schwarber’s reportedly seeking in a short-term, high-AAV deal. At that point, the Cubs really start to look like a fit. But I don’t see that happening. At least not based on what we’ve heard to this point.