1. Kris Bryant
Man! Wouldn’t this have been nice? Assuming the 2021 Yankees weren’t decimated and underperforming like you’ve never seen before, trading for Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant would’ve checked so many boxes.
He can play all three outfield positions as well as the corner infield positions. He has World Series experience. He’s another battle-tested slugger who can lengthen the Yankees’ once-deep lineup. The only problem is that he’s another righty, but his defensive versatility can help the front office easily overlook that.
But with Bryant approaching a free agent year and his agent being Scott Boras, what’s even the point? This trade is tailor-made for a team hoping to put itself over the top. It’s a massive “f–k you” trade to all the other contenders, especially since just about every rival executive knows the Cubs are going to try and gouge the biggest bidder in hopes of turning that package around to help their 2022 rebuild/re-tool.
Putting Bryant in left field and quelling the Yankees’ paramount defensive concerns with Clint Frazier/Miguel Andújar and sandwiching him in between a healthy Luke Voit/Gio Urshela/Gary Sanchez combo in the lineup would’ve been a dream come true for a bonafide World Series-bound Yankees team looking to stomp on the Houston Astros’ throats over the next two-plus months.
The only way this makes sense for the Yankees is if they’re willing to conduct a wild offseason overhaul and give Bryant the mammoth contract he’s likely looking for. And even then … it doesn’t really work. The Yankees don’t need a Kris Bryant to build around in the coming years. They need to trim the fat from this current group, add some starting pitchers, and diversify their lineup with some more speed and contact-heavy guys.
Cashman almost never overpays in trades, so you can likely assure he’ll at least be staying far away from Bryant, even though we wish the Yankees were 5-10 games better than they are to justify something like this.