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#pounditSaturday, October 16, 2021

Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant becomes third ex-Cub in three days to homer in debut for new team

Kris Bryant

The Chicago Cubs traded three of their longest-tenured offensive players at the trade deadline, and all three of them are settling in very quickly to their new homes.

The Cubs traded Anthony Rizzo to the New York Yankees on Thursday, and followed that up by shipping Javier Baez to the Mets on Friday. Rizzo made his Yankees debut on Friday and homered, and Baez did the same in his first game for the Mets on Saturday.

On Sunday, it was Kris Bryant’s turn. Bryant was traded to the San Francisco Giants on Friday, but did not make his team debut until Sunday. In the third inning against the Houston Astros, Bryant joined both of his former teammates by homering in his debut.

Sure, all three players have hit their share of home runs in the majors, but the odds of this still have to be pretty ridiculous. Part of the comfort may be down to how much the Cubs accommodated all three players. Whatever the case, all three players are quickly endearing themselves to their new teams.

Kris Bryant praises Cubs exec Jed Hoyer for handling of trades

Kris Bryant

The Chicago Cubs held a fire sale ahead of Friday’s MLB trade deadline, dealing away several key players who helped the team win a World Series five years ago. While Jed Hoyer says he had the team’s best interests in mind, Kris Bryant praised the Cubs executive for trying to make life better for those he traded away.

Bryant spoke with the media on Sunday before his first game as a member of the San Francisco Giants. He praised Hoyer for having his and his former teammates’ best interests in mind when trading them. Bryant noted how Hoyer traded him closer to where he grew up in Las Vegas. He also said the Cubs factored in that reliever Craig Kimbrel’s daughter has a heart condition, so they sent him to the cross-town rival White Sox so he wouldn’t have to move.

And that’s not all. Bryant says shortstop Javier Baez is happy to be joining his close friend Francisco Lindor with the New York Mets. First baseman Anthony Rizzo, who is from New York, now gets to play for the Yankees.

It would be naive to think Hoyer took lesser offers to accommodate all of the aforementioned players, but it sure sounds like he made an effort to put them in favorable situations. That goes a long way with players and should help the Cubs when they’re trying to recruit top talent in the future.

Bryant was very emotional in the dugout after being traded, but it sounds like he’s making the most of it.

Video: Kris Bryant sheds tears after learning of trade from Cubs

Kris Bryant traded

Kris Bryant knew he might get traded on Friday, but there was nothing to prepare him for the moment it actually happened.

Marquee captured video of what appeared to be the moment Bryant was informed that he’d been traded by the Chicago Cubs to the San Francisco Giants. Bryant had to wipe away tears after hanging up the phone.

That’s the emotional side of trade deadline day. Bryant will likely be pleased that he’s going to a contender in the Giants and will have a chance to play meaningful games. However, Bryant has only played for one organization in his MLB career, and he won a World Series with the Cubs.

The 29-year-old Bryant is hitting .267 with 18 home runs this season. He’ll join a Giants team that leads the NL West by three games.

Kris Bryant traded to Giants as Cubs blow up roster

Kris Bryant

The Chicago Cubs blew up their roster leading up to Friday’s MLB trade deadline, and the San Francisco Giants emerged victorious in the Kris Bryant sweepstakes.

Bryant has been traded to the Giants, ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported.

The Cubs were by far the biggest sellers at the trade deadline, so it’s no surprise they parted ways with Bryant. They had been shopping the star third baseman in trade talks dating back to last offseason. It looked at one point like the New York Mets were the most likely suitor, but they instead acquired shortstop Javier Baez from Chicago on Friday.

Bryant is hitting .267 with 18 home runs, 51 RBI and an .861 OPS. The 29-year-old has bounced back after batting just .206 in last year’s pandemic-shortened season.

Chicago appears to have entered total rebuild mode. In addition to Baez and Bryant, they also traded closer Craig Kimbrel to the cross-town rival Chicago White Sox. The Cubs are 50-54 and not in the playoff hunt, so they have decided to restock their farm system. Their 2016 World Series champion team seems like a distant memory.

Mets want to make ‘big splash’ at trade deadline?

New York Mets logo

The New York Mets sound likely to be quite active ahead of the MLB trade deadline, and it appears they don’t want to make only modest additions.

According to Pat Ragazzo of Inside the Mets, the team wants to make a “big splash” ahead of the July 31 deadline, and are eyeing the top players believed to be available. That includes Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant and Twins pitcher Jose Berrios.

Despite this, the Mets will be picky on which trades they made. They’re reluctant to give up their best prospects for a rental player in Bryant. They’d also likely refuse to take on the contract of Josh Donaldson to acquire Berrios, though the Mets accept that they’re likely to go into the luxury tax and will do so for the right move.

The Mets have been consistently linked to bats, including Bryant. The urgency to get something done may be increased with Francisco Lindor out with an oblique injury. The team’s pitching is also thin right now with Jacob deGrom on the IL, so it makes sense for them to look for upgrades and depth in the rotation too.

The Mets are 48-42 and currently lead the Philadelphia Phillies by two games in the NL East.

Mets reportedly have interest in Kris Bryant trade

Kris Bryant

The Chicago Cubs have been flirting with the idea of trading Kris Bryant since the offseason, and the New York Mets are said to have maintained interest in the star third baseman.

The Mets are among the multiple teams that have expressed interest in Bryant ahead of the trade deadline, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

That is hardly a surprise. The Mets had trade talks with the Cubs back in January that were centered on Bryant. Chicago is 44-46 and not looking like a contender, so it makes sense that a Bryant trade would be back on the table.

Bryant hit just .206 in 32 games of an injury-marred season last year. He has bounced back this year and it batting .271 with 16 home runs, 46 RBI and an OPS of .854.

One potential concern for the Mets could be money, though owner Steve Cohen has said he is willing to spend whatever it takes to assemble a World Series contender. Bryant is earning nearly $20 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility, and the Mets are less than $10 million below the luxury tax threshold.

The Mets reportedly have interest in another star third baseman as well, so it would not be a surprise if they are aggressive leading up to the July 30 trade deadline.

Mets reportedly have trade interest in big name third basemen

Josh Donaldson

The New York Mets want to add some more punch to their lineup, and are reportedly eyeing some big-name third basemen in order to do so.

According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Mets have engaged in preliminary talks with the Minnesota Twins about a possible trade for third baseman Josh Donaldson. The Mets have also maintained interest in Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant since the offseason, though it’s not clear if the Cubs would still be open to trading him.

The Mets are also faced with the issue of potentially exceeding the $210 million luxury tax threshold, which they are reluctant to do. The team currently sits less than $10 million shy of that number. Plus, the organization is reluctant to trade top prospects in any deal.

Donaldson is a big name that could theoretically be available. The Twins have been a huge disappointment in 2021 at 33-46, and they could become sellers ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. The 35-year-old would not be a rental, either, as he is under contract through 2023 with a $16 million team option for 2024. He’s owed just shy of $22 million annually, though, so he won’t come cheap financially.

Donaldson is hitting .250 with 13 home runs for the Twins this season. He may be able to bring some attitude to the Mets too judging by a recent spat he had with one pitcher.

Kris Bryant happy about MLB foreign substance crackdown

Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant is speaking out in defense of MLB over their foreign substance checks of pitchers.

Some pitchers have spoken out against the way MLB decided to implement foreign substance checks midseason. One high-profile pitcher even blamed his injury on the change.

But Bryant is pleased. He says the excuse players were using to justify the need for sticky substances was baloney.

MLB’s foreign substances problem was getting out of hand, which is why it’s good the league is addressing it. Maybe the timing wasn’t the best, but the players just need to deal with it.

Bryant went 1-for-3 in his Chicago Cubs’ 7-1 win over the Indians on Tuesday night, hitting his 14th home run. He is looking like his old self and succeeding despite the substance talk.

Kris Bryant has hilarious complaint about social media

Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant offered an absolutely hilarious complaint about social media.

The Chicago Cubs showed some responses from various players to the question: What’s your beef with social media?

The responses from the players were shared on the scoreboard at Wrigley Field during the team’s game against the New York Mets on Wednesday.

Javy Baez said he didn’t like people lying. Anthony Rizzo didn’t like the bullies. But Bryant’s response was even better.

The 2016 NL MVP was more direct and said he didn’t like the losers on the platforms.

“All the losers out there that troll everybody and anybody,” was Bryant’s response.

That’s not a surprise coming from Bryant.

Last year, he said he was done with the criticism from Cubs fans. Maybe he learned his lesson after spending too much time on Twitter the year before.

The 29-year-old experienced down seasons in 2018 and 2020. But he’s opened up this season with five home runs and a .980 OPS. Maybe he’s not concerning himself with the “losers” on social media and performing well as a result.

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