Report: Kris Bryant Traded to Giants from Cubs as CHI Continues Fire Sale

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2021

Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant runs into the clubhouse after warm ups before a baseball game aSan Diego Padres in San Diego, Saturday, July 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

The Chicago Cubs continued their fire sale by reportedly trading third baseman Kris Bryant to the San Francisco Giants on Friday, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.  

Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported on the return heading back to Chicago:

Mark Feinsand @Feinsand

Cubs receive OF Alexander Canario (No. 9 SF prospect per <a href="https://twitter.com/MLBPipeline?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MLBPipeline</a>) and RHP Caleb Killian (No. 30) from the Giants for Kris Bryant, per source.

Bryant emerged as one of the best players in baseball from his debut season in 2015 through 2017. His 20.7 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) over that span ranked third in MLB behind only the Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout (25.8) and Toronto Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson (21.4), per FanGraphs.

He's a three-time All-Star selection, won the National League MVP in 2016 and was named the NL's Rookie of the Year in 2015. He also helped lead Chicago to the 2016 World Series title.

The 29-year-old Las Vegas native rebounded in 2019 following an injury-plagued 2018 campaign. He posted a solid .272/.374/.460 triple-slash line across 102 appearances in 2018, but his .834 OPS represented a career low, and he slugged just 13 homers.

Bryant played in 147 games in 2019, putting up a .282/.382/.521 slash line and 31 homers over 543 at-bats.

Injuries once again plagued Bryant during the 60-game 2020 campaign. He set career lows across the board for batting average (.206), on-base percentage (.293) and slugging percentage (.351) with four homers in 34 games. 

Bryant has returned to his All-Star level this season with a 133 OPS+ and .267/.358/.503 slash line with 18 homers in 93 games. 

The Cubs were still willing to move on after also dealing away big names like Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Craig Kimbrel.

The talented and versatile star should immediately slot into the middle of the Giants' order alongside Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford among others. At 64-38, San Francisco already has the best record in the majors but the latest addition showed the organization is ready to compete for a World Series title.