The San Francisco Giants have jumped into the Kris Bryant Sweepstakes in a big way, reportedly offering the team's No. 2 ranked prospect, catcher Joey Bart, in exchange for Bryant and his expiring contract.
According to MLB Network's Jon Morosi, the Giants would be willing to part with Bart—who's slashing .310/.372/.532 with nine home runs and 38 RBI over 44 games in Triple-A this season—as long as the Cubs are willing to provide more than just Bryant in return.
Jon Morosi @jonmorosi
Bart, the former No. 2 overall pick, likely would be available only in a deal that involves players in addition to Bryant, a free agent after this year. Bryant would have great value to the Giants, with whom he could play 1B, 3B, and LF. <a href="https://twitter.com/MLBNetwork?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MLBNetwork</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MLB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MLB</a>
The Cubs' left fielder and third baseman is batting .269/.356/.500 with 17 home runs in a resurgent season for the 2016 NL MVP.
Bart was selected No. 2 overall in 2018 and is projected to become an everyday Major Leaguer by the end of 2021. MLB Pipeline graded his hitting and power at 50 and 60, respectively, on a scale of 20-80:
"Bart's bat speed, strength and the leverage in his 6-foot-2 frame give him well above-average raw pop, more than most catchers possess. The right-handed hitter didn't do much damage in his big league debut, however, as he got too pull-conscious and aggressive and didn't catch up to quality fastballs while posting alarming strikeout (37 percent) and walk (3 percent) rates in 111 plate appearances. He had more success in the Minors when he displayed more patience and let his power, which plays to all fields, come naturally."
The catcher is ranked No. 17 in Pipeline's Top 100 and would provide an immediate long-term solution for the Cubs at the position. Chicago could then pair Bart with Willson Contreras, who holds another year of club control, or look to move Contreras and his final year of arbitration eligibility.
The Cubs appear to have entered tear-down mode with shortstop Javier Baez, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and closer Craig Kimbrel among the most desired assets on the trade market. It's unclear how many of the team's core players could depart before Friday's MLB trade deadline.
It's also unclear if the Giants are expecting to receive any of the aforementioned stars alongside Bryant in exchange for Bart.
In the meantime, the Giants' prospect becomes one of the more intriguing players dangled over the Cubs and presents the franchise with a legitimate trade partner.