An answer at third base
I’ve written about the idea of trading for Kris Bryant before, and I still don’t think it’s a bad idea. That said, it all comes down to cost.
If the Cubs are more or less looking to get Bryant’s contract off their books for 2021, it might be a situation that makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately he’ll be a free agent at the end of the 2021 season, and he’s going to be well paid next year, even coming off a lacklustre campaign by his standards. He should have the injuries he dealt with behind him, and I think there’s a great chance of Bryant posting a bounce-back season. If that’s the case, he’ll be well worth the estimated 18.6 million he’ll receive in 2021, and the Blue Jays can afford to fit him in their payroll comfortably.
He’d work great as the needed solution at third base for the Blue Jays, which would allow Bo Bichette to continue as the shortstop, and Cavan Biggio to remain at second. Bryant also has the added flexibility of being a more than capable corner outfielder, which could certainly come in handy, especially since the Blue Jays value versatility so much. He still has youth on his side as well, as he only turns 29 in January.
Bryant would be a bit of a gamble, both after his down year in 2020, and because of his impending free agency, but the acquisition cost could make that pretty easy to stomach. I don’t expect that the Cubs will be looking for a lot more than salary relief, especially after seeing what they accepted for Yu Darvish. If that’s the case, I think Bryant would be a savvy roll of the dice, and if things work out then the Blue Jays have a year to show him why he should sign an extension to stick around.
At the start of the offseason I wasn’t so sure about the idea of pursuing Bryant, but after the latest developments with the Cubs, it might make a lot more sense.