From the fine folks who brought you the Yankees trading for Cubs stars Willson Contreras and Anthony Rizzo while surrendering Gary Sanchez, we bring you another bit of trade speculation about Chicago’s NL squad.
Much like the last time we examined one of these … we like it. We approve. We think you’re doing a great job living in a fantastic existence. But it’s simply not going to happen.
Slugger Kris Bryant has been rejuvenated in his final season in Chicago — and trust us, a contract extension is not happening, unless both sides have memory-holed their recent lawsuit.
Better yet for the Yankees? He’s playing the majority of his games in left field, which has been a black hole stuck inside an even stronger black hole thus far in 2021 in the Bronx.
Unfortunately, unless Chicago eats a significant portion (read: almost all) of Bryant’s salary, this deal does not jive at all with Hal Steinbrenner’s relentless attempt to stay under the luxury tax.
Speaking of luxuries, an offensive luxury won’t push the needle for the Yankees as much as a pitching acquisition like Max Scherzer will anyway. We don’t see ownership considering a trade like this, even as Clint Frazier and Brett Gardner team up to impersonate a screen door at the plate and in the field.
The Yankees will tell you they can’t afford a Kris Bryant trade with the Cubs.
Though Bryant’s production would be well worth acquiring, and would immediately shore up the Yankees’ biggest offensive hole (now that Luke Voit is returning to play first), there is a 0.0% chance New York agrees to pay a pro-rated amount of his exorbitant $19.5 million final-year arbitration salary.
That’s not to say Bryant hasn’t earned every dollar and then some! It’s just an educated observation based on years of front-office inaction.
So far in 2021, Bryant is slashing .308/.397/.650 with 1.5 WAR accrued already, and his offensive numbers have reached the upper echelon of the National League.
If the Yankees like what they see, there’s always a chance they revisit the Bryant well this offseason during the slugger’s free agency, after Clint Frazier wraps up whatever this 2021 season becomes.
Of course, the Boston Red Sox — where Bryant’s father Mike once played pro ball and fell in love with Ted Williams — lurk, too, now that they’ve largely cleared out their own outfield.
A bidding war once the tax threshold has been reset in the Bronx? Now that we can get behind.