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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

MLB commerce rumors: Kris Bryant, future Met? Six potential locations for Cubs star

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Right here’s the factor that makes Kris Bryant such a fascinating commodity on the commerce market, now that it appears like the Cubs are formally going to be sellers: Just about each single contending group can take a look at Bryant and assume, “Yep, we’ve bought a spot for him!” 

That’s uncommon with a place participant, however Bryant has every kind of versatility. Mainly, he’s not a center infielder or a catcher, however that’s it: Simply this yr alone, he’s began 15 video games at third base, 13 in proper area, 10 in left area, eight at first base and 4 in heart area. He’s not essentially a Gold Glove man at any place, however he’s actually succesful at every place, which provides a whole lot of additional worth. 

MORE: 5 Twins who may very well be traded quickly

And he doesn’t thoughts transferring round, even throughout video games. We listed his “video games began” totals, however right here’s the whole variety of video games he’s performed at every place: 24 at third, 20 in proper, 14 in left area, 10 at first and 10 in heart. It’s a supervisor’s dream to have the ability to go all queens gambit with defensive positioning. 

He’s a free agent after this yr, which suggests he’s a rental. For some groups, that’s dangerous. For some, it’s good. But when the objective is to get to October — or win a World Collection — that’s a minor element, not a roadblock. This yr, he was nice in April and Might, then crummy in June. He’s batting .348 in July’s six-game small pattern dimension. 

The place will he be in August? Let’s check out six potential locations. 

6. Yankees

Why he suits: We’re attempting to cowl all of the bases right here. This doesn’t appear seemingly — the Yankees have already got too many right-handed hitters of their lineup — but when one of many objectives is so as to add a bat and so they don’t just like the left-handed choices on the commerce market, they may do worse than Bryant. Aaron Choose is having a positive yr in proper area, however let’s check out the OPS+ numbers for the gamers who’ve manned left area for the Yankees this yr …

Miguel Andujar: 83
Clint Frazier: 77
Brett Gardner: 70
Tim Locastro: 43 (together with his time in Arizona)
Mike Tauchman: 54

Keep in mind, the league common quantity for that stat is 100. So, mainly, each left fielder the Yankees have used this season has been effectively under league common. Yeah, they may use Bryant, and don’t overlook he might spell Gardner (and his .189 batting common) in heart, too, although he’s most likely not a full-time reply there. 

5. Mariners

Why he suits: Hey, don’t snicker. The Mariners are 4 video games above .500, tied with the Blue Jays within the wild-card race (3 1/2 out of the second spot) and have a greater file than the Yankees. For a franchise that hasn’t been within the postseason since 2001 — the longest streak in baseball — you realize they’ll not less than discover choices. And bear in mind their GM? The compulsive dealer himself, Jerry DiPoto. It’s not not possible to assume he might commerce for Bryant now, then transfer him once more earlier than the July 30 deadline if the following few weeks are a catastrophe. Seattle’s pitching is serviceable, however the offense wants assist. Kyle Seager’s established at third, and identical with Mitch Haniger in proper, however Bryant can be an improve in left area or DH.

4. Braves

Why he suits: As we’ve mentioned earlier than, it’s removed from sure that the Braves might be patrons. They’ve had a whole lot of issues discovering any traction in any respect this yr. However they’re nonetheless solely a handful of video games out of first within the NL East, and buying and selling for Bryant would form of be taking the slugger away from one other group that might profit from KB’s bat (spoiler). Add Bryant, stick him at third base and transfer Austin Riley to the outfield (he’s a greater hot-corner defender than Riley), win NL East. Easy as that, proper?

3. Brewers

Why he suits: Would the Cubs REALLY commerce Bryant to the division rival that simply sprinted previous them in June and delivered the crushing blow to Chicago’s 2021 season? If the one objective is to construct a greater group, and the Brewers make the very best supply, yeah, they completely ought to commerce him up the street to Milwaukee. Certain, the Brewers are a rival of the Cubs, nevertheless it’s not like they’re the Cardinals, proper? It’s not that form of century-long rivalry.

The Brewers have had every kind of damage points this yr, and whereas making low-risk offers for a man equivalent to Rowdy Tellez might presumably work out, including a longtime bat equivalent to Bryant figures to make a a lot larger influence. He might play heart area on days when the membership desires extra offense from the place. He might play third base if Luis Urias — who has 12 homers in 83 video games this yr, after six in 124 profession video games heading into 2021 — slows down, or if he’s wanted at one other place. He might play first if Tellez doesn’t discover his batting stroke. The Brewers are a group that can contend for the NL’s spot within the World Collection, and including a flexible middle-of-the-order bat like Bryant is just about precisely what they want. 

2. Athletics

Why he suits: Look, that is an Oakland group that has the items to lastly make that long-awaited deep run into October. Properly, many of the items. The A’s might use one other influence bat. Clearly, Bryant wouldn’t play third so long as Matt Chapman’s wholesome, however he’d be a right away improve at both nook outfield spot or the DH. And whereas a number of groups would view Bryant’s standing as a rental as a foul factor, the dearth of economic commitments may really be seen as a bonus for the A’s. 

1. Mets

Why he suits: It is most likely not a shock that the Mets are within the prime spot right here, contemplating that they have been listed because the almost definitely potential vacation spot within the piece earlier this week. No contender wants an offensive kick within the pants greater than the Mets. Certain, perhaps the largest drawback is that they only want their established guys to hit higher — hello, Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto and Francisco Lindor — however sooner or later a group with visions of successful the World Collection title can’t simply sit round and wait. Including Bryant’s versatile bat to the lineup is form of a dream answer. J.D. Davis was rolling earlier than touchdown on the IL; when he comes again, perhaps Bryant shifts to outfield? Bryant offers a group a number of choices. 

Oh, and there’s this: Think about the Mets dropping a number of 1-0 or 2-1 video games in a playoff sequence — the 1-0 can be Jacob deGrom’s begin, after all — after not making any kind of transfer so as to add a bat earlier than the deadline? Mets followers wouldn’t be completely happy (and neither would the gamers).



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