Chicago Cubs: 3 dark horse candidates to land Kris Bryant

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
Chicago Cubs, Gerrit Cole
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

New York Yankees

After three consecutive years of making the playoffs but failing to make the World Series, the New York Yankees look like they’re back to their old ways – not caring how much money it takes to win.

This winter, the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole to a record-setting nine-year, $324 million contract. They signed the best free agent available and addressed the team’s biggest weak point without having to move money off the payroll first. The Ricketts family may want to take some notes.

More from Da Windy City

With the Yankees back to their “win no matter the cost” strategy, they seem like a prime candidate to be interested in Kris Bryant. Not only would they scoff at the estimated $40ish million of employing Bryant for the next two seasons, but they’d also be in a position to offer him a long term extension once he hits free agency. It surely doesn’t hurt that the Yankees regularly make deals with Scott Boras, Bryant’s agent, either.

Aside from their willingness to pay Bryant, the Yankees are weakest at the positions that Bryant could play – third base and left field.

The Yankees have question marks at both of those positions, and Bryant would present a major upgrade over every other player the Yankees could pencil into their lineup at those spots – Gio Urshela, Miguel Andujar, Mike Tauchman, Tyler Wade, and Clint Frazier.

On top of that, the Yankees could use a replacement for Edwin Encarnacion who departed in free agency. In limited time with the Yankees last season, the veteran slugger hit .249/.325/.531 in the Bronx, and Bryant would slide nicely into the hole Encarnacion left in the middle of the lineup.

Additionally, the Yankees have the prospect capital to put together a solid package for Bryant – Baseball Prospectus ranks their farm system 9th in the majors heading into 2020.

A few notable prospects packaged in a deal with Andujar or Frazier may be enough for the Cubs’ front office to pull the trigger, and don’t forget, the Cubs’ and Yankees’ front offices are no strangers to working on these kinds of trades together, i.e. the Aroldis Chapman for Gleyber Torres deal in 2016.