Kris Bryant might feel like he’s going to be a member of the Chicago Cubs at least until the end of this season, but other teams in Major League Baseball aren’t so sure. Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune says he’s talked to at least one veteran scout who said there are still a few teams that are looking at Bryant this spring. The implication being one or more of those teams are still weighing the Cubs third baseman’s value and thinking about making an offer to Chicago.
It had been thought by most in the area media that now that Bryant has officially reported to Spring Training, he’ll be starting the season – at the very least – with his current team. Brett Taylor of Bleacher Nation thinks even the idea that scouts are still watching Bryant is probably overblown. He believes it’s likely this is more along the lines of teams making sure Kris Bryant looks like what they’d expect in preparation for a potential ramp-up in activity at the trade deadline.
With Bryant being moved to the leadoff spot for the Cubs, at least for now, there’s a chance his value could shift. If he proves able get on base and hit for power at the very top of the order, Chicago’s asking price could go up substantially.
On the flip side, if he struggles out of the gate, or gets injured, having someone stationed at the team’s home park could help rivals get information quickly if his price drops. As The Inquisitr reported earlier this winter, not every team that is looking at Bryant thinks his contract is worth taking on. Bryce Harper, for one, believes the Philadelphia Phillies need to be very careful about adding his salary while replacing a very good young player in the lineup.
Kris Bryant’s contract, as well as the fact that he’s going to be a free agent at the end of 2021, has made some teams back away from the table. Over the course of the winter, the Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies and Washington Nationals were most often mentioned as potential suitors.
There were louder rumblings that the Rockies and Cubs had worked out a one-for-one deal that would have swapped Bryant for Nolan Arenado. It was never clear what ended up killing that deal, if it was as close as some reports made it seem. Both players have reported to their respective Spring Training camps and expect to begin the regular season with their current teams.