Kris Bryant Trade Rumors: Mets' Talks with Cubs 'Do Not Appear to Be Ongoing'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 19, 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 New York Mets' trade talks with the Chicago Cubs about third baseman Kris Bryant reportedly didn't advance "past [the] first inning." 

SNY's Andy Martino reported Friday the discussions aren't currently active but it's possible the teams revisit the idea around the 2021 MLB trade deadline.

On Tuesday, Cubs president Jed Hoyer shot down rumors there were ongoing talks with the Mets about a potential Bryant blockbuster.

"Right now, we're not engaged in any trade talk and we haven't been for a bit," Hoyer told reporters.

Bryant, like numerous players around MLB, struggled during the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season. He posted a career-low .644 OPS with four home runs across 36 appearances.

The 29-year-old Las Vegas native was previously one of the best hitters in the National League. He was named the NL MVP in 2016 and earned three All-Star selections across his first five seasons.

His WAR (27.9) between 2015 and 2019 ranked third among all MLB hitters behind only Mike Trout (43.9) and Mookie Betts (35.4), per FanGraphs.

In January, Bryant said on Red Line Radio (via Mollie Walker of the New York Post) that off-field factors like trade rumors had taken some of the fun out of the game.

"It really got to me sometimes," he said. "The stuff I was hearing—The first trade rumors [in 2018] that started to pop up really got to me. I find myself [thinking], 'Man, is this even fun anymore? Why did I start playing this game?' Because it was fun. There's a lot of other stuff involved. You make a ton of money and fame and all this. You have to get yourself back to why I started playing."

For now, it sounds like Bryant will open the campaign in Chicago but his future remains uncertain as he's set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2021 season.

If the Cubs don't think it's possible to sign him to an extension, they'll likely look into trade offers around the deadline, which could land a lucrative return with several clubs, including the Mets, gearing up to make a serious championship charge this year.