Kris Bryant Trade Rumors: Mets, Cubs Have Had Dialogue About Move for Star

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2021

Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant runs the bases after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning in a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

The Chicago Cubs and New York Mets have reportedly held trade discussions about third baseman Kris Bryant.

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Cubs have expressed interest in catching prospect Francisco Alvarez, although Mets president Sandy Alderson indicated Thursday that he won't trade additional top prospects.

The Bryant rumor comes on the heels of New York acquiring shortstop Francisco Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco from Cleveland on Thursday for infielders Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez as well as prospects Josh Wolf and Isaiah Greene.

Bryant, who is set to enter the final year of his contract in 2021, has been rumored to be on the trading block for the past couple of years. With no reported movement on a new deal between Bryant and the Cubs, a trade could finally be on the horizon.

The 29-year-old has spent his entire six-year MLB career with the Cubs. During that time, he has been named an All-Star three times, won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2015 and won both the World Series and NL MVP award in 2016.

Bryant hit .292 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI in his MVP campaign, but he has not been able to match that level of production since.

While he did earn an All-Star nod in 2019 when he hit .282 with 31 homers and 77 RBI, Bryant struggled mightily last season.

During a campaign that was shortened because of COVID-19, the Las Vegas native hit a career-worst .206 with just four home runs and 11 RBI in 34 games.

Part of the reason for Bryant's struggles last season may have been a wrist injury that cost him time. Bryant tried to play through it before landing on the injured list.

While Bryant's stock may not be as high as usual, he has shown in the past that he can be an elite offensive player. The Mets are serious about contending with new team owner Steve Cohen in the fold, and trading for Bryant would be another splashy move.

New York already has a dangerous lineup that includes Lindor, first baseman Pete Alonso and outfielder Michael Conforto, and Bryant would give the Mets another threat that pitchers would have to account for.

It is understandable why the Cubs reportedly may want Alvarez in return, as MLB.com rated him the No. 58 prospect in baseball last season.

The 19-year-old appeared in 42 Single-A games in 2019, hitting .312 with seven home runs and 26 RBI.

Although Bryant would add another layer to New York's offensive attack, trading a potential future offensive superstar at catcher for him may not be a move that ultimately pays dividends.