One of the most accomplished and talented players in MLB might be on the trade block. According to Buster Only of ESPN, the Chicago Cubs will reportedly listen to trade offers this season for star third baseman Kris Bryant.
According to ESPN’s report, Chicago’s offseason discussions have kicked off and the front office has let other teams know it will listen and discuss trade proposals for any player on the roster.
It’s understandable for Chicago to be disappointed with Bryant’s production after so much went wrong in 2018. The 26-year-old, who won N.L. MVP in 2016, missed 62 games during the regular season and hit only 13 home runs in 389 at-bats.
There were also rumors about Chicago approaching Bryant about an extension this offseason, though that report was later refuted. Bryant is a client of agent Scott Boras, whose star players almost always hit free agency and explore the full market to maximize earning potential.
Despite all of this, Chicago’s reaction to explore trading Bryant seems premature. He remains under contractual control until the end of the 2021 season. Even as his arbitration salary rises, the Cubs will still have an affordable pay for Bryant through his age-29 season.
It’s not even the right time for Chicago to deal Bryant as his value is at its lowest possible point. He dealt with discomfort in his shoulder for much of the 2018 season and it impacted him at the plate, but he doesn’t need surgery this offseason.
Ultimately, Bryant will likely remain in Chicago and rebound with the Cubs next season with a monster year thanks to his healthy shoulder. However, every team in the league should be calling right now to try and find a way to land the All-Star third baseman.