One of the bigger stories in this weird, weird offseason was the rumor the Chicago Cubs might not offer a contract to their former MVP, former Rookie of the Year, three-time All Star, 28-year-old third baseman. The whole concept of this post was around that idea, but I was too slow. The rumors now are that the Cubs will tender a contract to Bryant, so we need to start some new rumors.
There will be many players nontendered tomorrow, and big names. But Kris Bryant will not be one of them. Chance longtime teammates Kyle Schwarber and/or Albert Almora are among many MLB nontenders, but Cubs see KB’s .889 career OPS. They will consider trades for KB though.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 1, 2020
Should the Cardinals trade for Kris Bryant?
The Cardinals and Cubs have made three trades in the last, like, 40 years, so it is a longshot, but that is not going to stop me from trying to manifest something. If you look at the pieces, they all sort of fit together, too. The Cubs are looking to shed payroll. According to owner Tom Ricketts the Cubs finances are in disarray. Before Bryant even made his debut the Cubs organization was looking for ways to avoid paying him. Now that he is projected to make over $18 million after a down, injury-riddled, shortened season, the Cubs might be less willing than ever to pay the player.
Meanwhile the Cardinals could use an upgrade at third base. Blake Newberry just published an article about this very issue. With the likely absence of Kolten Wong, the Cardinals could slide Tommy Edman over to second base and leave Matt Carpenter as the everyday third baseman. Carpenter’s recent struggles leave this as a less-than-palatable idea. Bryant would fit in perfectly in this scenario, with Carpenter around to fill in at third and at first base to spell Paul Goldschmidt.
Sources: Kris Bryant is unlikely to be traded before Wednesday’s 8 pm ET deadline to tender contracts, but his marketplace is likely to become clearer after that. More activity is expected across @MLB industry beginning Thursday. @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 30, 2020
It all boils down to the ask, of course. If the speculation is correct, though, and the Cubs are really mostly interested in getting off the hook for the $18 million that will soon be owed to Kris Bryant, the cost might not be that high. Bryant is a year away from free agency and is coming off a struggling season. It is certainly a risk, but now might be the time to make a move.