Grading the 2021 Cubs trade deadline moves two years later

It's been two years since the Chicago Cubs' front office tore down the World Series winning core. Let's look back at the series of deals that changed the franchise.

Milwaukee Brewers v San Francisco Giants
Milwaukee Brewers v San Francisco Giants / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
1 of 7

It's been two years since the Chicago Cubs' front office took a sledgehammer to their World Series-winning core. It was a very hard month watching former All-Stars and playoff heroes get shipped off to other teams but it may have been necessary. Some of the best prospects in the system are a result of those deals, but at the same time, the team could use certain players right now. Let's look back at the trades made by the Cubs in 2021 and grade them.

1. The Kris Bryant trade

I think of the historic 2016 season when I remember Kris Bryant, where he not only led the Cubs to a World Series but also secured the National League MVP by putting up a whopping 7.9 WAR season. But Bryant was an excellent player in the years after 2016 despite the massive bar he set for himself after winning college player of the year, minor league player of the year, NL rookie of the year and NL MVP in consecutive seasons. Other than the shortened 2020 season, every season Bryant spent with the Cubs he put up more than respectable numbers and numbers you'd love to see from Cubs hitters in the lineup today.

Despite all that success, the Cubs opted to trade Bryant just before his contract expired in 2021 and it seems like it was the right call. Since the trade, Bryant has failed to play a full season's worth of games due to a series of injuries, resulting in a dip in his on-field production. Since being traded away by the Cubs in 2021, Bryant has compiled a WAR of 0.9.

Just from Bryant's performance alone, this trade looked worth it, but the return was not bad in Alexander Canario and Caleb Kilian. Those men are the Cubs' number 10 and 17 prospects respectively and the former could be a formidable power hitter while the latter may be destined for a starting rotation role.

Giants get: 3B/OF Kris Bryant

Cubs get: OF Alexander Canario and RHP Caleb Kilian

Grade: B