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#pounditWednesday, February 8, 2023

Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant chooses to sign massive deal with surprising team

Kris Bryant in the dugout

Kris Bryant has a new team, and it is a surprising one.

The former longtime Chicago Cubs third baseman is staying in the National League and has chosen to sign with the Colorado Rockies. He is getting $182 million over seven years.

The move is surprising for many reasons.

The Rockies have finished fourth in the NL West the last three seasons. Maybe Bryant thinks with him in the fold that the Rockies will be improved. But it doesn’t seem like he prioritized winning with his choice of teams.

The other surprise is that Colorado just had a stellar third baseman on their team in Nolan Arenado. Arenado forced a trade away from the Rockies last year because he was frustrated with the organization. Arenado seemed upset that the Rockies weren’t making a greater effort to build a better team around him.

Does Bryant believe the Rockies will try to build more around him? Or does he not care? We will find out.

This is a nice deal for the 30-year-old third baseman/outfielder. Bryant is a career .278 hitter with a lifetime .880. He has made four All-Star teams, including last season.

Photo: Aug 3, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Kris Bryant (23) looks on in the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Surprising AL team in contention to sign Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant in the dugout

Kris Bryant has spent his entire career in the National League, but it’s possible that he will switch leagues in 2022.

Bryant is one of the top free agents who decided not to sign before the MLB lockout. That means he is now looking for a new team.

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported on Friday that there is “industry chatter” about Bryant potentially signing with the Seattle Mariners. Comments from Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto regarding the team’s needs all fit Bryant’s profile.

The Mariners aren’t the only team with interest in Bryant. Jon Heyman reported Friday that Bryce Harper is pushing his Phillies to make a run at Bryant, who is his longtime friend from Las Vegas.

Heyman mentioned the Padres, Mets and Rockies as other potential suitors for the 2016 NL MVP.

Bryant, 30, began his career explosively by winning NL Rookie of the Year and NL MVP in his first two seasons. However, his play dropped off as he struggled with a shoulder injury. He rebounded and displayed good form last season and hit 25 home runs with an .835 OPS.

Bryant could be a good fit for multiple teams due to his versatility. Though he has primarily been a third baseman during his career, the former longtime Cub also plays both corner outfield spots, and he can play first base as well.

Photo: Aug 3, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Kris Bryant (23) looks on in the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Kris Bryant unlikely to return to Giants?

Kris Bryant in the dugout

Kris Bryant’s time with the San Francisco Giants could end up lasting for all of three months.

The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly said Thursday on MLB Network that Bryant is unlikely to return to the Giants in free agency. Baggarly added on the air that the Giants were not particularly impressed with Bryant, especially defensively, and that the former NL MVP’s swing might not age well.

Baggarly later took to Twitter to clarify that the team was happy with what Bryant contributed and knows that he is a star. However, certain aspects of Bryant’s game underwhelmed. Baggarly also said in the clarification tweet that Bryant’s swing relies on athleticism and thus poses some risk.

The 29-year-old Bryant arrived in San Francisco in a midseason trade with the Chicago Cubs. He hit .262 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs through 57 regular season games for the Giants. Bryant also went a scorching .471 with eight hits (including a homer) in San Francisco’s five-game NLDS loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Giants already lost one cornerstone of last season’s 107-win team. Now it sounds like they may be willing to let another top contributor walk as well.

Photo: Aug 3, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Kris Bryant (23) looks on in the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

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.