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#pounditSunday, January 23, 2022

Kris Bryant

Report: Mets have had Kris Bryant trade talks with Cubs

Kris Bryant

The New York Mets have made one blockbuster trade already this offseason. Could another one be on the way?

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Mets have recently been engaged in trade talks with the Chicago Cubs centered on third baseman Kris Bryant. There do not appear to be any indications that a deal is close. It’s also not clear if Bryant talks were simply a potential fallback option in case the Mets couldn’t complete a trade for Francisco Lindor, which they ultimately did on Thursday.

It’s been clear that the Cubs are at least willing to listen on Bryant. He is entering the final season of arbitration, and it’s not clear if either side is interested in a long-term deal. The Cubs have also made clear they’re preparing to move on from this era, which could include a Bryant deal.

There are some recent indications that a Bryant trade may be growing less likely.

Photo: Arturo Pardavila III/Flickr via CC-BY 2.0

Kris Bryant expected to open season with Cubs

Kris Bryant

The Chicago Cubs have explored trade possibilities for Kris Bryant this offseason, but it sounds like the star third baseman will remain with the team at least into the spring.

Bryant’s agent, Scott Boras, said this week that he believes the Cubs will keep the 28-year-old — at least for now. Boras also defended Bryant’s surprisingly bad performance during the coronavirus-shortened season.

Bryant, who was named the NL MVP in 2016, hit just .206 in 34 games last season. Boras attributes that to Bryant not getting enough at-bats, but rival teams may not be so certain.

While Bryant drew some interest from an NL East team, it does not sound like there has been a strong market for him. The best approach for the Cubs might be to keep him at the start of the year and hope he gets off to a hot start.

Bryant made $18.6 million last season and will likely earn more next year, which is his last under team control.

Photo: Arturo Pardavila III/Flickr via CC-BY 2.0

Cubs less certain about a Kris Bryant trade?

Kris Bryant

The Chicago Cubs may be less certain about trading Kris Bryant this offseason.

Bryant made $18.6 million last season and should earn more next year, which is his last year under team control. The Cubs have been open to trade talks involving Bryant and even had some interest from an NL East squad. But maybe they will keep him, at least to start the season.

NBC Sports Chicago’s Gordon Wittenmyer communicated with new Cubs president Jed Hoyer, who said he “absolutely” could see a scenario in which Bryant remains with the team.

“I don’t think it should be treated as a fait accompli that [a trade is] going to happen,” Hoyer said via Wittenmyer.

It sounds an awful lot like there isn’t a strong market for Bryant and that the Cubs may plan to keep him to start the season. That way the Cubs can hope for Bryant to build up trade value with a hot start that either brings the Cubs into contention, or leads to a trade with a nice return.

Bryant hit just .206 in 34 games in 2020. He was the 2016 NL MVP.

Photo: Flickr/Arturo Pardavila III via CC-BY 2.0

Report: Nationals considering Kris Bryant trade

Kris Bryant

After a disappointing 2020 season, the Washington Nationals may be ready to make significant moves to get back into contention.

According to Jon Morosi of, the Nationals are considering an effort to trade for Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant. The team is also monitoring a number of other hitters as they look to improve offensively.

There is certainly some reason to believe Bryant may be traded this offseason. After making $18.6 million last season, that figure is likely to top $20 million in his final season of arbitration. The Cubs don’t seem committed to him long-term, so it would make sense for the team to move him now before they lose him for nothing.

Bryant hit just .206 in 34 games in 2020. The 28-year-old is said to be one of a number of big names the Cubs could try to offload this winter.

Photo: Arturo Pardavila III/Flickr via CC-BY 2.0

Kris Bryant is done with criticism from Cubs fans

Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant has had absolutely enough criticism from Chicago Cubs fans.

Bryant has been enduring a rough season and is batting .205/.289/.331, which are all career-low marks for him by far. But on Saturday, Bryant finally delivered a big game, though the Cubs lost 9-5 to the Chicago White Sox.

Bryant smashed a grand slam in the third to put the Cubs up 5-2, though they blew the lead the next inning and lost.

The home run was only Bryant’s third of the season and his first since Aug. 12. Finally hitting a home run may have given him an opportunity to respond to Cubs fans who have been critical of him.

Bryant said he is done worrying about the criticism.

“I don’t give a sh–. I really don’t. That’s a good answer. I’m over it. Sometimes I go out there and go 4 for 4 and its not good enough for some people so I DON’T GIVE A SH–,” he said, via ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.

Blocking out the criticism as much as possible could be helpful in Bryant overcoming the issues. The more you dwell on that sort of criticism, the more it becomes a negatively-reinforcing loop and harder to break out of a slump.

The Cubs are headed to the playoffs after clinching the NL Central and need Bryant in the proper mindset. The home run and his dismissal of the fan criticism indicates he may be in a better spot.

Photo: Arturo Pardavila III/Flickr via CC-BY 2.0

Cubs still plan for Kris Bryant to hit leadoff

Kris Bryant

The Chicago Cubs remain set on their leadoff hitter for the 2020 season.

Speaking with reporters on Monday, Cubs manager David Ross said that he is holding firm with the plan for Kris Bryant to hit leadoff and Anthony Rizzo to be the No. 2 hitter, per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.

Ross had first introduced the plan back in February, but it was fair to question whether or not that would still be the case during a shortened 2020 campaign. Bryant, 28, hit .282 with 31 home runs and 77 RBIs in 2019, operating mainly out of the No. 2 or the No. 3 hole.

Kyle Schwarber saw the majority of the time as the Cubs’ leadoff hitter last season, but the results were somewhat less than stellar. Bryant has a career .385 OBP, and while his stolen base numbers are fairly lacking, Chicago is committed to shaking things up from their underwhelming 2019.

Nats have moved on from Kris Bryant trade talks?

Kris Bryant

The Washington Nationals were among the teams interested in trading for Kris Bryant, but they may be moving on.

Washington has a big hole to fill at third base since losing Anthony Rendon in free agency. Jon Heyman says the Nats are giving Carter Kieboom a shot to replace Rendon at third and that the team is not in talks with the Chicago Cubs about Bryant.

Heyman further notes the Nats did not check on Nolan Arenado, because if they wanted to pay that kind of money to a third baseman, they would have just re-signed Rendon.

Bryant was part of trade rumors all offseason as the Cubs looked to shake things up, but they will move forward with the 2016 NL MVP. Interestingly, Bryant is expected to bat in a new spot in the order for the upcoming season.

Bryant rebounded from a rough 2018 season when he was bothered by a shoulder injury to hit .282 with 31 homers and a .903 OPS in 147 games last season.

In addition to the 22-year-old Kieboom, the Nats have Asdrubal Cabrera who can play third.

Kris Bryant to hit leadoff for Cubs

Kris Bryant

Chicago Cubs manager David Ross appears set to shake things up at the top of the lineup.

Ross said Wednesday that he intends to use Kris Bryant as his leadoff man to start the season, marking a significant change to how the Cubs have set things up in years past under Joe Maddon.

The leadoff spot has been a huge issue for the Cubs since Dexter Fowler’s departure. Last season, Cubs leadoff hitters hit a combined .212 with a .294 OBP. The contrast with Bryant is stark: last season, he hit .282 with a .382 OBP. Putting a player with that much power at the top of the lineup instead of the middle of it may be unconventional, but it’s probably going to solve the team’s leadoff woes.

This may also be an indication that the trade rumors surrounding Bryant aren’t worth paying attention to any longer.

Kris Bryant: Players not buying Rob Manfred’s apology about World Series trophy

Kris Bryant

Rob Manfred issued an apology on Tuesday for the way he trivialized the World Series trophy, but Kris Bryant says there is a feeling around Major League Baseball that the commissioner meant what he originally said.

While discussing the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal in a recent interview with ESPN’s Karl Ravech, Manfred downplayed the importance of the World Series trophy — which is called the Commissioner’s Trophy — by referring to the award as a “piece of metal.” Manfred made the remark while explaining why he chose not to strip the Astros of their 2017 World Series title. On Tuesday, Manfred apologized for the poor choice of words.

Bryant is not buying the apology, and he says others around the league aren’t either. The Chicago Cubs star told reporters on Wednesday that he cherishes his World Series trophy and believes Manfred meant what he said when he called it a “piece of metal.”

Players are not pleased with Manfred at the moment. Most feel that the commissioner made a huge mistake by not punishing any players who were involved in Houston’s cheating scheme, and Manfred has made the situation worse with his recent media tour addressing it. He’s well on his way to unseating Roger Goodell as the most hated commissioner in sports.

Bryce Harper shares thoughts on potential Kris Bryant trade to Phillies

Bryce Harper Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies are one of the teams that have been mentioned as a possible suitor if the Chicago Cubs trade star third baseman Kris Bryant, but Bryce Harper does not seem as giddy about the idea as you might expect him to be.

Harper and Bryant both grew up in Las Vegas and played with and against each other as kids. They’ve been friends for a long time, so naturally Harper was asked what he thinks about the rumors that Bryant may be traded to Philly. Harper expressed some concerns about the financial ramifications of it and spoke highly of Phillies third base prospect Alec Bohm.

Harper is right, and his rationale explains why a Bryant trade to Philly is very unlikely. Bryant will make more than $18 million this season and likely much more than that in his final year of arbitration eligibility in 2021, then he’ll be in line for a massive free agent contract. The Phillies are already paying Harper $26 million per year, and there are only so many of those contracts a team can carry.

If Bohm is as good as advertised, it doesn’t make much sense for the Phillies to acquire Bryant. There are other teams interested in the Cubs star that are probably more likely to land him.