4 potential landing spots for Kris Bryant via trade

Tim Kelly
November 25, 2020 - 2:15 pm

The Chicago Cubs find themselves at a strange juncture with third baseman Kris Bryant.

The former National League MVP can become a free agent after the 2021 season, and it feels like the organization is trending towards a retool or even rebuild. Normally, the team's willingness to trade him would be met with open arms, but when you combine his impending trip to free agency and the fact that he slashed just .206/.293/.351 in the pandemic-shortened season, his stock isn't exactly at an all-time high.

Bryant will turn 29 in January, so theoretically, he should be at his peak now. That said, between 2015 and 2017, Bryant graded out as the third-most valuable offensive player in baseball, slashing .288/.388/.527. In parts of three seasons since, Bryant has graded out as the 51st most valuable offensive player in the league, slashing .269/.368/.478.

There's still value in the type of player that Bryant has been over the last three seasons, but when you consider he has -14 defensive runs saved at third base in his career, the intrigue in trading for him isn't nearly what it would be if he had become available three or four winters ago.

ESPN's Buster Olney has reported that the Cubs are willing to trade "almost any veteran" on their roster. This doesn't mean that Bryant necessarily will be dealt, but if the team plans to retool in the coming years, there's a very real shot that Bryant won't be a part of that. If that's the case, trading him now probably makes more sense than just receiving draft compensation in free agency next winter, assuming Bryant would even bounce back to the point that the Cubs would feel comfortable extending a qualifying offer.

Here are four teams that could make sense as landing spots for the 2016 World Series Champion, and a look at some of the pieces they could offer in return for Bryant:

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