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.
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.
Nats are giving top prospect Carter Kieboom a shot to replace a Rendon at 3B. No current talks on Bryant. Cubs wanted either Robles or some combo of RHP Rutledge, SS Garcia and Kieboom. Not an unreasonable ask but considering price (tax) and potential ultimately decided no.
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.
Nats never inquired on Arenado. He has bigger contract than Nats offered Rendon (they bid 210M/7 with some deferrals) and they like Rendon better. So why give up prospects too? Had they wanted to spend 234-245 they would have given it to 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.
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.
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.”
Bryant not buying Manfred apology: "I don’t think people are accepting it. When you say something like that, I genuinely believe he really meant it was just a piece of metal. Not to me, I have one in my office back home, and it’s right in the middle, the center of attention."
More Bryant on Manfred's trophy apology: "This was something that was very important to me and very important to the whole organization. We haven’t had one in 108 years, and that piece of metal meant a lot to the whole city."
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.
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.
Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant grew up together in Vegas and are longtime friends. Harper's take on a potential trade of Bryant to the #Phillies, which remains unlikely: pic.twitter.com/VZDMnY9Wb4
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.
One MLB superstar has already been traded in a blockbuster deal with Mookie Betts being sent from the Boston Red Sox to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night, and there is at least a chance Kris Bryant could be next.
Bryant’s name has been at the center of trade rumors throughout the winter, and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals have shown interest in the star third baseman.
Now, #Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant is on the trade clock with the #Phillies and #Nats showing at least exploratory interest.
Bryant recently lost a grievance he filed against the Cubs in which he sought an extra year of service time, so he is under team control for two more seasons. While that makes him more appealing to keep on the roster, it also could increase his trade value. Though, it was basically a foregone conclusion that he was going to lose the grievance, so that isn’t really new information.
Bryant, 28, batted .282 with 31 home runs and 77 RBI in 147 games for Chicago last season. The Cubs would likely need to be blown away by an offer to trade him this offseason, though they may not want to wait until next winter if they don’t plan to re-sign him. As we saw with the Betts deal, Bryant’s value could decrease significantly when he’s entering his final year of arbitration eligibility.
Though we’re fairly late in the MLB offseason, there are still some major potential trades being talked about within the league, including one that would be huge for both teams.
On Wednesday, ESPN’s Jesse Rogers told NBC Sports Chicago’s “Kap and Co.” that the Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies have discussed a one-for-one Kris Bryant for Nolan Arenado trade, via Tim Stebbins of NBC Sports Chicago. The Rockies would pick up salary as part of the trade.
We’ve been hearing Bryant trade rumors all offseason. He has two years to go before he becomes a free agent, while Arenado is due $234 million through 2026. Both are star players, and both could still get traded this offseason, but there has been little momentum in trade talks — between these two teams or with anyone else — so far this winter.