When Theo Epstein set out to rebuild the Chicago Cubs, one of his main objectives was to find four impact position players around whom he would build his roster.
One of those players ended up being Kris Bryant, who fell into the Cubs’ lap in the 2013 draft when Chicago gobbled him up with the No. 2 pick. A few years later, he was an MVP and helped the Cubs win their first World Series in more than 100 years.
Now, Epstein is reportedly open to moving the All-Star third baseman.
ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reported Friday, citing sources, that Chicago is open to trade discussions centering around just about everyone on its roster, including Bryant.
Bryant, who was hampered by injuries in 2018, is coming off the worst season of his young career. The 26-year-old appeared in just 102 games, hitting 13 home runs and driving in 52 runs. When healthy, though, Bryant is a game-changing talent, who averaged 31 home runs and 91 RBIs in his first three big league seasons.
The Cubs, despite their distinction as a big-market team, aren’t impervious to the financial crunch that eventually comes with possessing a host of young talent. Bryant made nearly $11 million last season and is likely to keep earning more as he nears free agency following the 2021 season. If the Cubs can’t secure him to a long-term contract extension, then it might make sense to move the third baseman despite his importance to the franchise.
If Chicago decides that’s the best course of action this offseason, we could be in for a wild winter.
Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images