Cubs Rumors: Mariners made a pre-lockout offer to Trevor Story

=(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
=(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Prior to the Cubs trading Kris Bryant to the Giants at the trade deadline back in July, an unexpected team ‘went heavy’ in their attempts to acquire the four-time All-Star in the Seattle Mariners. We’ve since heard the team was likely to take a run at him again in free agency, but that may have changed based on a new report.

Per Jon Heyman, Seattle made a pre-lockout contract offer to free agent infielder Trevor Story, with the idea he’d move off shortstop, which would allow Gold Glover JP Crawford to remain at the position moving forward. The Mariners, having already inked AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray to a five-year deal and traded for Adam Frazier, are looking for a big bat to supplement their up-and-coming core and Story obviously fits that bill.

The longtime Rockies shortstop is coming off a 2021 season in which he managed just an .801 OPS, the second-lowest mark of his career. Still, he hit 24 long balls and, from 2016 to 2019, he averaged 31 homers a season. Story turned in a solid showing in the shortened 2020 campaign and ranks among the biggest names on the free agent market.

WIth Corey Seager, Javier Baez and Marcus Semien off the board, the group of shortstops is down to just two: Story and Carlos Correa, to whom the Cubs have been connected pretty consistently, especially just prior to the lockout taking hold. Bryant, of course, is hard to peg down for one specific position, especially after a year in which he played both corner infield spots and all three outfield positions for Chicago and San Francisco.

If the Mariners have honed in on Story, though, it’s worth looking at what that might mean for Bryant, who is looking to cash in on a long-term deal heading into his age-30 season. Seattle has been an oft-mentioned potential landing spot, so where else might the former MVP call home in 2022 and beyond?

Chicago Cubs: Where will Kris Bryant call home in 2022 and beyond?

The Rockies have been connected to Bryant this offseason, but after how the organization treated Story and Nolan Arenado, it’s hard to envision anyone really wanting to go play there. Colorado’s front office has been a mess in recent years – and it seems safe to assume KB will want to win, something that organization isn’t particularly familiar with.

He could return to the Bay Area. The Giants, like the Cubs, have a ton of long-term financial flexibility – and could easily afford to bring him back. That being said, we had that report earlier this winter indicating the club wasn’t particularly impressed with what they got from Bryant down the stretch this year. 

I think the Phillies could end up being in on the former first-rounder. Those dreams we all had of Bryant teaming up with Bryce Harper a few years back? They might come to fruition after all – just not in the way we had in mind.

Last, but certainly not least, there’s always the chance Jed Hoyer and Scott Boras get something done to bring Bryant back to the North Side. I’d say this remains a very long shot, to say the least. The Cubs have made it clear: they’re interested on shorter-term, higher-AAV deals. Boras isn’t likely to target that type of deal for Bryant, who undoubtedly wants that long-term stability for himself and his family.

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Given his versatility defensively, the list goes on and on as far as where the former Cubs superstar could wind up. But if the Mariners are focused elsewhere, it could take a key contender out of the mix.