Kris Bryant wants long-term stability, which all but rules out the Cubs

(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

It wasn’t that long ago that those of you still holding out hope for a Kris Bryant reunion this winter were thrown a bone by FanSided’s own Robert Murray. There’s been plenty of cold water thrown on those hopes of late, though, so it’s important we dive in and lay it all out there when it comes to the former Cubs do-it-all superstar.

Before we get to Chicago, let’s start with Bryant’s most recent team, the San Francisco Giants. Of course, Gabe Kapler’s club is coming off a franchise-record 107-win season and a long-awaited return to the top of the National League West. Despite all that, there are two reasons why a reunion between the four-time All-Star and the Giants seems unlikely.

First, we’ve heard San Francisco wasn’t all that impressed with him. That’s not to say they were necessarily unhappy with Bryant, but they weren’t blown away to the extent they’d be willing to shell out a nine-figure deal to bring him back in free agency.

The Giants also have interest in shorter-term deals, rather than lengthy pacts (sound familiar?) – which means, unless Bryant and Scott Boras all of the sudden change their tune (which seems very unlikely, to say the least) – you can probably safely cross San Francisco off your list of likely landing spots for the former MVP.

That second reason, as you’re all likely well aware by this point, is also why he’s not coming back to the Cubs. There’s definitely a fit as far as the roster goes, but, at least right now, Jed Hoyer has zero interest in those long-term pacts. (You can draw your own conclusions as to what that might mean when it comes to Carlos Correa).

For years, Bryant and his family dealt with near-incessant speculation and trade rumors. As Michael Cerami over at Bleacher Nation points out, some sort of no-trade protection seems like a good bet in his next contract so he can alleviate that stress for both himself, his wife and their young son. You can wonder if, without those distractions, he’ll be able to return to form and get back to being closer to what he was early in his career.

Chicago Cubs: So which teams could still be in on Kris Bryant in free agency?

So let’s assume the Giants and Cubs are out. The Rangers already splurged on Marcus Semien and Corey Seager, so let’s take them off the list, too. The Dodgers and Yankees have been uncharacteristically quiet to this point – but there are three teams I still view as realistic landing spots for Bryant.

The Mariners, who tried to acquire Bryant at the trade deadline, make a ton of sense. KB loved playing on the West Coast and they’re a young team on the rise with a ton of talent on the cusp of breaking onto the big league stage. To me, they should be viewed as the front-runners here.

Now, we move onto a pair of large market teams I could see make a move for him in the Phillies and Mets. Philadelphia has a need in the outfield and could give him an opportunity to reunite with lifelong friend Bryce Harper. As much as it would suck to watch those two terrorize NL pitching for years to come, I have to admit, it would be a very cool story.

Then there’s the Mets, whose owner seems to print money at will. He already shelled out the richest contract in baseball history in terms of AAV to Max Scherzer – and you can tell based on the moves New York has made, it’s World Series-or-bust in 2022. So while a reunion with the Cubs might be a feel-good story, it’s nothing more than a dream at this point. Might as well come to terms with that now.