The Chicago Cubs reportedly spent most of the winter trying to find a taker for Kris Bryant. Rumors swirled into view and then disappeared again almost from the start of the offseason all the way up to spring training. While nothing materialized in the end, there were reports the team got close to getting a deal done a couple of times. The one that Cubs fans have heard about the most was a straight-up trade with the Colorado Rockies. That would have sent Bryant to Colorado and Nolan Arenado to the Windy City. One potential trade rumor which just surfaced was a deal that was rumored to be very much in the works with the San Diego Padres.
Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports the deal was even discussed “recently” but ultimately fell through because Chicago was simply asking too much. Acee said he had two different sources who told him the same story. The Cubs were wanting some of the team’s best players in exchange for the former NL MVP. In any package that would have netted Bryant, Chicago wanted Dinelson Lamet. The usual throw-in during negotiations was Luis Campusano.
MLB Trade Rumors reported it’s not shocked Lamet was the primary ask from Theo Epstein and company. The pitcher is coming off of 2018 Tommy John surgery but posted a very solid 2019. He had 14 starts over 73 innings, and while his earned run average wasn’t sparking (4.07), he managed to post 13 strikeouts per nine innings.
Lamet has a very live arm, managing to average about 96 miles per hour on his fastball. He gets a lot of swings and misses as he can pair that heater with some very nice movement on his other pitches.
Campusano is the more long-range prospect of the two, having never played high A ball. He was on basically every scout’s list of the Top 100 prospects in the sport in 2019 and is in camp with the Padres this spring, though he’s not expected to make the opening day roster.
Acee reported the asking price from the Chicago Cubs was part of the problem in getting a deal done, but the Padres also didn’t necessarily see a fit for Kris Bryant. While he has played some outfield in his time in the Majors, he’s primarily a third baseman, and that’s where San Diego sees his biggest value. The team already has an everyday third baseman in high-priced free agent acquisition Manny Machado.
While trade talks between the two teams appear to be dead, the most interesting question from the report is just how recently were these negotiations going on. It’s not known, and Acee didn’t say if they were before or after Bryant made his statement about being with the Chicago Cubs for a “long time.”