Chicago Cubs: Kris Bryant needs to be traded

With limited resources available in regards to Free Agent spending, the Chicago Cubs will need to trade Kris Bryant in order to ignite a much needed change.

The Chicago Cubs need a significant change to their roster construction.

That much was clear after the Cubs were bounced from the 2020 National League Wild Card series by the Miami Marlins. The Cubs were swept by the Marlins and the team only managed 1 run on a combined 9 hits between the two games.

For the Cubs, their postseason series against the Marlins marked the third consecutive season where the team’s offense has been rendered broken. The issue is that the team never fixed the offense from when it was evident that it was broken in their 2018 National League Wild Card game against the Colorado Rockies.

When speaking with reporters earlier this week, Cubs’ President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein seemed to indicate that change was in store for the Cubs’ offense this off-season.

“We have not performed up to our expectations offensively,” Epstein said, “and especially at the most important times of year. And sort of simply hoping for a better outcome moving forward doesn’t seem like a thoughtful approach. So, embracing some change, even significant changes, is warranted.”

Theo Epstein, MLB.com

In review of the Cubs’ position players, the biggest change that seems likely is a trade of third baseman Kris Bryant. Bryant’s name has been flooded by trade rumors over the course of the past two seasons and it seems like the Cubs finally are not only open to but leaning in the direction of moving their star third baseman.

Bryant is the most likely option to be moved and signal significant change than any other player on the Cubs’ roster.

The goal of the Cubs’ front office appears to be build around Javier Baez as the two sides have had contract extension talks for much of this past calendar year. Willson Contreras appears to be a fair bet to remain with the team, at least, until highly touted catching prospect Miguel Amaya is ready for the Major League. Anthony Rizzo is the unquestioned leader of the Cubs and a trade of him would signal more of rebuild as opposed to a smooth transition to the next contention rebuild. Kyle Schwarber is a candidate to be moved but a potential trade of the left fielder would not bring the needed change for the Cubs. That would be why Bryant is the likely candidate.

Bryant’s struggles during the 2020 season were well documented. Between suffering multiple injuries and struggling to hit over .200 on the season, Bryant was not the cornerstone of the Cubs’ offense that he once was.

At the age of 28, Bryant still has the future and talent to be a star in Major League Baseball. The issue is he likely is not the star that Cubs are going to build their next contending team around. With Bryant’s contact set to expire at the end of next season, the Cubs need to trade the third baseman.

The hiccup with trading Bryant this offseason is that the Cubs will not receive the same value for the former National League MVP that they would have last offseason or potentially next season at the trade deadline. Bryant is not going to the net the Cubs a top-tier prospect as his value is likely now worth a B-level prospect. That is not an ideal situation for the Cubs but a necessary evil given their past failures to fix the offense.

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