Blue Jays: The best ways to take advantage of payroll crunches
A(n) (im) perfect fit
The offseason rumours are usually pretty extensive, which is why I’m surprised that this player has never really come up in Blue Jays rumours. In my mind, he’s nearly a perfect fit for what they could use going forward.
After losing his long arbitration battle with the Cubs prior to this season, Kris Bryant has one more year to go before he’ll become a free agent. The Cubs have long been rumoured to be looking to save some money, and this could be the winter they break up their championship core. With that in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cubs shopped Bryant and the 18.6 million he’s owed for next season.
The problem for the Cubs is that Bryant’s trade value has arguably never been lower. He had a hard time staying healthy this year and appeared in just 34 games. He also struggled when he was on the diamond, slashing just .206/.293/.351 with just four home runs, five doubles, and 11 RBI. Unfortunately that’s not going to help the Cubs to maximize their return.
I do think they’ll be aggressive in getting his money off the books though, and that could mean that it’s worth looking at what it would take to acquire him. If he had more than one year of contract control then I would be all over the idea of trading for the former MVP, as he’d be a great fit at third base, and is capable of playing in the outfield as well.
Would it be worth trading for him now on an expiring contract? I’m not so sure I’d go that far right away unless the return you had to give the Cubs was very minimal. In that case it could be worth gambling on showing him the bright future in Toronto with a first-hand look and hoping he’ll stick around beyond 2021, while also hoping Bryant is the healthy and productive version of himself.
At a time when there could be a lot of options available, Bryant could be someone that’s easily forgotten given the rough 2020 campaign we just saw from him. However, there’s plenty of elite baseball left in the 28-year-old, and I think he’d look fantastic in Blue Jay blue.