Cubs star Kris Bryant is on the trade block. One team that can meet Chicago’s asking price is the New York Yankees and its deal they should make.
Wednesday slugger Kris Bryant lost his labor grievance against the Chicago Cubs over service time. As a result, Bryant can’t become an unrestricted free agent until after the 2021 season. Chicago reportedly has the three-time All-Star third baseman on the trade block. The New York Yankees can strike now.
Its a somewhat acrimonious situation in Chicago between the two sides and Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer knows it. He also knows that Bryant’s trade value will never be higher.
The reported asking price is two Major League ready prospects and possibly more. Yankees GM Brian Cashman can not only meet the price, but he could do so without disrupting the team or deeply damaging his prospect pool. Even considering the high price to make a trade, the Cubs slugger is worth it.
Bryant is one of the best players in the game and he’s only 28-years-old. Over his five year career, he’s slashed .284/.385/.516/.901 with 138 home runs, 167 doubles, and 403 RBI. It’s rare that someone so young with those types of production becomes available. He has been one of the premier hitters of the last half-decade.
For the New York Yankees part of the deal, they could part with both Miguel Andujar and Clint Frazier. With Bryant coming over and both Gio Urshela and DJ LeMahieu on the roster, third base is secure, making Andujar expendable. He’s more of the player from 2018, when Andujar was the AL Rookie of the Year runner-up, than he was in the injury-riddled 2019 season. Frazier is a star in the making but has burned a few bridges with the Yankees. A fresh start in the Windy City would do him some good.
There are two big problems Cashman has to overcome in order to make a deal. According to Sportrac, the Bombers are already well over the Luxury Tax threshold and are looking at over a $21M “tax,” making their total payroll responsibility to $279.5M.
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Adding Bryant’s $18.5M salary plus another almost $8M in penalties pushes it to over $300M. One thing he could do to offset the increase is to either find a way to include pitcher JA Happ or find another deal for the 37-year-old starter and the $34M due to him over the next two seasons.
His other issue is with the batting order. Although the New York Yankees would have arguably the most lethal lineup in recent baseball history with Bryant, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Gleyber Torres. they would be righty-bat heavy in a left-handed hitters ballpark. Many teams would consider that a risk they’d be willing to take to put them over the top.
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