Chicago Cubs: 3 dark horse candidates to land Kris Bryant

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Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

With the Chicago Cubs looking to move money off the books this offseason, keep an eye on these three teams that may surprisingly enter the Kris Bryant sweepstakes.

In early 2018, the critically acclaimed horror/thriller film “A Quiet Place” came out in theaters. If you’re not familiar, the story followed the Abbott family as they tried to survive in a post-apocalyptic world where alien monsters hunted anything that made even the slightest noise. Although the movie was purely a work of fiction, no one must have told that to the Chicago Cubs, because this offseason, the team’s front office has acted as if making even the smallest move would result in the entire front office staff being ripped limb-from-limb by hulking alien beasts.

An exaggeration? Perhaps. But quiet is an apt description of the Cubs winter thus far.

While the cash hasn’t been flowing in Wrigleyville, rumors have. A nearly nonstop swirling of trade talk has engulfed the North Side of Chicago. First, the rumors centered on Willson Contreras. Now, all attention has been shifted to a Kris Bryant trade. At this point, it doesn’t seem like a matter of if the Cubs will trade him, it’s looking more like a matter of when.

Most likely, that when will be shortly after the ruling comes down from an arbitrator in Bryant’s service-time grievance case against the Cubs. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the expectation is that Bryant will lose the grievance, meaning he’ll be under team control for two more years. That’s good news for the Cubs whether they decide to trade Bryant or not.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals, and Texas Rangers have been most often linked to Bryant in trade rumors, but the list of interested clubs should include any team looking to compete in 2020.

Adding Bryant to a team’s lineup isn’t a slight improvement. It’s a game-changer.

Since making his MLB debut in April 2015, Bryant ranks third in fWAR (27.8), 17th in wRC+ (139), and 15th in wOBA (.383). If you prefer traditional stats, over that same stretch he’s slashed .284/.385/.516 with the 21st most home runs (138) and the 23rd most RBI (403).

With Bryant on the trading block, there are likely more than a handful of teams interested, even if they haven’t been reported on yet. Here are three teams that may emerge as dark horse candidates to land Bryant in a trade.

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