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Friday, May 07, 2021

Cubs deal Sox can’t refuse: Bryant would be MVP move

What we know for sure is what we saw in January with that Yu Darvish trade and what we’ve seen since from a team off to its worst start in seven years, thanks to some resulting starting pitching problems and overall depth issues.

So act now, while supplies last, Rick! Players like this won’t be around all summer!

Push, pull or drag your best three or four teenage trade-ins (or maybe Yoelqui Cespedes?) for a chance to pull your outfield out of the 2021 crapper and restore those World Series visions you’ve been selling on the South Side the last six months.

What’s in it for Hoyer and the Cubs?

We already can see the drool on ownership’s face at the mere mention of the additional prorated part of Bryant’s $19.5 million salary coming off the books instead of waiting until perhaps July to consider trading him.

From Hoyer’s perspective? Did we mention Cespedes?

Whether Hahn, the Sox general manager, is willing to part with the top international player from the recent signing class, he needs a definitive, bold response to losing outfielders Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez to months-long injuries — unless all that talk about World Series expectations was just so much blowing smoke.

Bryant, who followed up his Player of the Week honors Monday by raking against Cy Young winners Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer in a doubleheader Tuesday, would be the signature move — literally the MVP move — to make.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 07, 2021 at 11:11 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, kris bryant, white sox

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   1. The Duke Posted: May 07, 2021 at 11:23 AM (#6017551)
What’s a trade for Bryant look like? He’s being paid pretty close to market and will bring a draft choice at end of year.
   2. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 07, 2021 at 11:50 AM (#6017556)
Is Bryant even really an outfielder?
   3. The Duke Posted: May 07, 2021 at 12:06 PM (#6017560)
Not in his walk year, he isn’t.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 07, 2021 at 12:38 PM (#6017566)
Playing an averagish 3B in LF seems really weird to me.
   5. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: May 07, 2021 at 01:18 PM (#6017581)
Career totals for Bryant at each position:

1B: 132.1 innings
SS: 1.0 inning
3B: 5,277.1 innings

LF: 701.0 innings
CF: 34.1 innings
RF: 467.0 innings

IMO, he's better suited physically for the OF than 3b - fast, tall, strong arm*. Some of those non-3b innings are due to various injuries/roster constructions and a little bit Maddon's flexibility fetish, but for instance this year, he's made 12 or 13 straight starts in the OF (across all 3 spots) and based on who was available in each of those games they almost all made the most sense (the one exception here is when he started in CF and Heyward in RF; I know Heyward prefers RF and is great there but I think swapping them is probably an overall better defense).

I don't know what the various defensive metrics say about him at the non-3b spots - or even if we should take them that seriously because of either sample size issues or how sporadically he plays there. Long story short, he's fine in either OF corner and if he's hitting and healthy (which is by far the biggest question mark for him) he might be the best option available in trade for just about any contender.

Realistically, he's not going to bring much back to the Cubs in a trade unless they ate money and probably the main reason the Cubs would deal him is money related. It's been a while since any team has really gotten anything *that* good for a partial season rental. I don't want the Cubs to trade him and wish they'd resign him of course, even though that is likely risky and there's a good chance his next deal doesn't work out.

*I can picture an alternate reality where he's been a CF his whole life and is considered at worst average out there.
   6. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 07, 2021 at 01:27 PM (#6017584)
Playing an averagish 3B in LF seems really weird to me.


It's just a roster construction thing isn't it? If they are going to play Duffy or Bote over Pederson then Bryant in left probably makes sense since the other two guys aren't left fielders of any sort and Bryant actually is competent out there.

There's probably a man management piece of it. Bryant may be one of those people who doesn't really give a #### where he plays. Some guys need consistency, others are comfortable bouncing around.
   7. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 07, 2021 at 02:01 PM (#6017599)
Bryant may be one of those people who doesn't really give a #### where he plays.


Is that really the case? Bryant is a guy who had his best season at age 24 and hasn't really advanced an inch since then (although he's off to a great start this year). Now, there are many reasons why this might happen, but I can't imagine that asking a guy to play six positions is going to help with his development.
   8. The Duke Posted: May 07, 2021 at 02:29 PM (#6017603)
I’m confused. Bryant is the fourth best player in MLB by fWAR. Why would Chicago eat salary. He’s already at 2 WAR. I’d think a contender who needs a 3B or maybe LF would pay up right now.

I don’t think it will hold up, but if I were the Cubs I’d be selling right now and frankly the white Sox are a perfect one year fit.
   9. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 07, 2021 at 02:58 PM (#6017609)
Is that really the case? Bryant is a guy who had his best season at age 24 and hasn't really advanced an inch since then (although he's off to a great start this year). Now, there are many reasons why this might happen, but I can't imagine that asking a guy to play six positions is going to help with his development.


I'll defer to the Cub fans here. Just kind of making a guesstimate from afar. I think you're being a little harsh when you say he "hasn't really advanced an inch" since that 2016 season. Yeah that was his best year but there's not a huge amount of difference between 2016 and any of the other surrounding years save being hurt in 2018. And yes I'm dismissing 2020 because 2020. Looking at his career to this point it is not entirely dissimilar to Ripken's. MVP in year two, several more good seasons, bit of a skid, then a bounce back. I don't think Bryant seems to have been hurt too badly by bouncing around.

   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 07, 2021 at 05:00 PM (#6017636)

I’m confused. Bryant is the fourth best player in MLB by fWAR. Why would Chicago eat salary.


Did you see the last offseason? There are like 2 teams willing to spend any kind of money at all. Eating money will get you a decent prospect if you can shop him to cheap teams, otherwise your market is going to very limited.
   11. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: May 07, 2021 at 05:38 PM (#6017646)
Is that really the case? Bryant is a guy who had his best season at age 24 and hasn't really advanced an inch since then (although he's off to a great start this year). Now, there are many reasons why this might happen, but I can't imagine that asking a guy to play six positions is going to help with his development.

I know we've had this conversation multiple times already, but here goes again. If he was bothered by this, he or his agent (Boras) would have said something sometime in the last however many years to either of the 2 managers he's had. So it's pretty safe to assume it's not a problem and/or he doesn't give a #### where he plays.

As for development, I still fail to see your point, even more so now that he's in his 7th season. He's had injury issues - none of them from playing defense in the OF - which is by far the biggest reason in his struggles off and on. Almost every year (2020 is the exception, which is the case for almost everyone; he basically came into the year pre-hurt), he starts fine and/or hot then suffers some sort of injury - getting beaned in the head or jamming his wrist sliding into a base - and then he claims he's not hurt and he keeps playing but his numbers tank. He was arguably just as good in 2017 as he was in 2016 (aka the year he moved around the most prior to this one), but then the injuries started in 2018. If moving positions stunted his development at all, it sure ain't in the numbers.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: May 07, 2021 at 05:50 PM (#6017648)
Bryant started in CF in the 7th game of his career, he's been spending time in the OF for his whole career. On average, he starts once a week out there. If anybody considers it a problem, they've never mentioned it.

Not in his walk year, he isn’t.

14 starts at 3B, 14 starts in OF, 1 at 1B.
   13. The Duke Posted: May 07, 2021 at 05:51 PM (#6017649)
Eating money? I don’t understand. He’s the 4th best player in the league on a half-year contract for market value or slightly less than market value. There’s not a team in the league who wouldn’t be interested at the right price which is probably an established pitcher plus a top 100 prospect, or something like that
   14. Walt Davis Posted: May 07, 2021 at 05:59 PM (#6017650)
On the main topic -- the Cubs are at 500 in a very weak division. Bryant isn't going anywhere yet barring a silly offer.

The Sox are in a pretty similar spot but what's the plan -- an OF of Vaughn/Bryant/Eaton? With that pitching staff and in that division, they might just need a good-fielding CF that can outhit Billy Hamilton. Maybe they should call the Cubs about Marisnick instead.
   15. asinwreck Posted: May 08, 2021 at 09:49 AM (#6017748)
The Sox trade that seems inevitable is one of the pitchers they drafted out of HS in 2019-20 to the Rangers for Joey Gallo.
   16. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 08, 2021 at 11:50 AM (#6017762)
The Cubs aren't eating salary on Bryant. Does TFA suggest it?
   17. Walt Davis Posted: May 08, 2021 at 10:22 PM (#6017876)
The Cubs aren't eating salary on Bryant. Does TFA suggest it?

Don't know but at the end of #5 Moses does which I think started that discussion.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 10, 2021 at 09:40 AM (#6017998)
I know we've had this conversation multiple times already, but here goes again. If he was bothered by this, he or his agent (Boras) would have said something sometime in the last however many years to either of the 2 managers he's had. So it's pretty safe to assume it's not a problem and/or he doesn't give a #### where he plays.

Just because he doesn't care doesn't mean that 1) it doesn't negatively affect his performance, or 2) that it's a small tactical move.

Simple having to split your defensive practice across multiple positions should make your D worse. Otherwise, why not cut every players practice in half if they only play one position?
   19. Jesus Luzardo Maraschino Posted: May 10, 2021 at 03:15 PM (#6018064)
Do they practice OF much? I know infielders take endless grounders but the OFers make mistakes pretty rarely.

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