The idea of Kris Bryant returning to the Cubs this winter in free agency is little more than a fool’s hope. That chapter of his career is behind him – but that doesn’t mean we won’t be keeping tabs on the former Rookie of the Year and MVP, either. After all, he played a role on some of the best Cubs teams in decades.
The team that keeps coming up when it comes to Bryant is Seattle – which is coming off its first 90-win season since 2003 and is seeking to break a two-decade postseason drought in 2022. But according to the Seattle Times, it’s at least possible the Mariners won’t just add one big bat, but instead could add some combination of Bryant, Seiya Suzuki and Trevor Story.
To say such additions would make an impact is putting things mildly. Seattle nabbed reigning AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray prior to the lockout and with a young prospect core that ranks among the best in the league, adding two of those three players would send a message to the league.
That Seattle Times piece delves into the intricacies of the Mariners’ roster really nicely and is definitely worth checking out. But as far as the Cubs are concerned, any combination of Story and Suzuki going to one team would obviously hurt their chances of adding an impact bat – because the teams that miss out are going to up the ante in search of backup options.
Trevor Story, Seiya Suzuki have both been connected to the Cubs
We had one report that had Chicago as a finalist for Suzuki – but it was an outlier in a sea of other reports that suggest Seattle and San Francisco (and potentially Boston) are the three lead horses in that race. Still, the thought of adding an impact 27-year-old outfielder is nice given the Cubs’ in-house options in the outfield.
Story has long been assumed destined to fall to whichever Carlos Correa suitor misses out on the longtime Astros superstar. But if a team like the Mariners decide to get aggressive and lock him up pronto once the lockout lifts, Correa’s market could get interesting very quickly. Of course, the Cubs have been connected to the infielder nonstop for months now – but there’s no chance Jed Hoyer drops $330 million at his doorstep this winter.
Odds are the Cubs will be a pretty mediocre team in 2022, spending the year evaluating what they have before plotting a course forward. As for Seattle? I’m here for them reigning in the AL West and returning to October for the first time since 2001 – with Bryant leading the charge.