Former National League MVP Kris Bryant doesn’t believe he’ll be traded to the Philadelphia Phillies – or anywhere – before the start of the 2020 season.
Bryant told Gordon Wittenmyer of The Chicago Sun Times that after meeting with Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, he not only expects to start the season with the team, but finish it on the South Side.
All that said, Bryant did acknowledge that Epstein didn’t go as far as promising to keep the 28-year-old aware of any trade discussions that could involve him in the future.
Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post reported last week that there was some sense that the Cubs were still hoping for a better offer on Bryant from the Phillies, Atlanta Braves or Washington Nationals. There’s no indication, however, that any of the three plan to ramp up their pursuit of the three-time All-Star. The Braves lost Josh Donaldson in free agency this offseason, as he signed a four-year deal with the Minnesota Twins. World Series hero Anthony Rendon left the Nationals to sign a seven-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels.
Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper gave a nuanced take on the idea of trading for Bryant, a fellow Las Vegas native.
“I mean, you have to have certain guys on your team that make less money to also have guys that make more money, as well,” Harper said to the collective media, including Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic. “Kris, of course, you want an All-Star caliber player, but we have [Alec] Bohm. We have a big-time third baseman and we were able to get him in the draft. Of course, any time you’re able to add an All-Star caliber player, you’re going to want to add an All-Star player. But you have to be able to know you developed a player in the minor leagues that can also help you at third base, and Bohm could be that guy for us. He could come up and be one of the best third basemen in the second half or whatever it is. As a team, you have to have guys that like that, that are only making the league minimum so you can go spend at the deadline.”
“If the Cubs aren’t where they are, you never know at the half what they’re going to be doing. He could be cheaper at that point. But I can’t give up Spencer Howard and Bohm, and possibly give up our whole future, for a year and a half of KB if we don’t sign him to an extension. And I know there’s a guy in there that we need to sign to an extension. I think having a guy like J.T. [Realmuto] for the next six years would help us.”
The guess here is we haven’t heard the last of speculation – or even credible reports – on the Phillies potentially trading for Bryant. However, it appears relatively clear right now that either Jean Segura or Scott Kingery will be the Phillies Opening Day third baseman.
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