Kris Bryant to the Dodgers Makes Too Much Sense

The Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant has filed a grievance against his team due to alleged manipulation of his service time that has prevented him from becoming a free agent until after the 2021 season. If an arbitrator agrees with Bryant’s case then there will be major repercussions around the league where other players, including potentially Cody Bellinger will be allowed to enter free agency one year sooner. We will be informed about the decision on the hearing soon, but if Kris Bryant wins his case, he will become a free agent after the 2020 season, which as a result will likely land Bryant on the trading block.

Early in 2018, Kris Bryant turned down a contract extension that was reported to be worth over $200 million. The Cubs very well might keep Bryant, but their hands are tied with a lot of contracts right now and their total payroll will hinder them from making any big moves for 2020.

“According to Cot’s Baseball, the Cubs’ final figure for the CBT will be $239,987,998. That’s almost $34 million above the threshold of $206 million.” – Forbes

Essentially Theo Epstein has no choice but to trade one of the bigger names on this roster, which makes Kris Bryant the logical choice. The Dodgers are the perfect trade partner to not only help the Cubs, but to acquire that big bat they’ve been missing for years during these playoff runs. The Dodgers offense has gone cold too often during the postseason, so by adding Bryant this can help fix that flaw and hopefully win the World Series as a reward.

Why Kris Bryant?
Well first of all…his last name is Bryant. The last time there was a star player with the last name Bryant, we witnessed Kobe Bryant win 5 championships for the Lakers. Obviously, none of that is relevant to now but it’s just to point out for fun. This is why the Dodgers should actually make a push for Kris Bryant:

Kris Bryant is a 3 time All-Star, NL MVP, and hit .282 with 31 home runs and 77 rbis in a 2019 All-Star campaign. His ability to hit both right-handed and left-handed pitching is a matchup nightmare for the opposition. We wouldn’t have to worry about Bryant being in a platoon situation. In 2019, Bryant had 105 at-bats vs left-handed pitching and hit .295 with an OBP of .426, while hitting .279 vs right-handed arms. In his career, Bryant is a .302 hitter vs left-handed pitching and has hit right-handed throwers at .279. He has plenty of postseason experience and shouldn’t be scared of the bright lights like we’ve seen with AJ Pollock. Overall he’s been just a .241 hitter, but during his MVP year in 2016 he hit .308 with 3 home runs and 8 rbis.

Kris Bryant will turn 28 before the 2020 season starts and gives the Dodgers versatility with his ability to play both 3rd base and the outfield. Justin Turner will be a free agent after the 2020 season and with his declining defense it will give the Dodgers options of playing Turner at 3rd and Bryant in the OF, or moving Turner to 1st and letting Bryant takeover at 3rd. Regardless, if Turner were to no longer remain a Dodger after the 2020 season, the Dodgers don’t have to search for another 3rd baseman because they have the financial capital to re-sign Bryant to whatever contract he and his agent Scott Boras demand. This gives ownership an extra year to decide the outlook of the team rather than signing Anthony Rendon who will be a free agent this upcoming winter who is looking for a salary near the same range as Nolan Arenado of 7 years and an annual salary of $32 million. Rendon is a great player and potentially a World Series champion, but I’ll take the guy who is 2 years younger and has hit 2 more home runs in 210 less games played.

Kris Bryant is from Nevada and played his college ball in San Diego, so returning to the West Coast could be a breath of fresh air. In order for this to happen, I see the Dodgers trading Joc Pederson to another team and platooning AJ Pollock to begin the season. The trade package would be:

Dodgers acquire: Kris Bryant

Cubs acquire: Chris Taylor, Ross Stripling, Jeter Downs, Kody Hoese, and Jordan Sheffield

The 2020 opening day lineup could look something like:

  1. Verdugo – OF
  2. Muncy -1B
  3. Bryant – OF
  4. Bellinger – OF
  5. Turner – 3B
  6. Seager – SS
  7. Smith – C
  8. Lux – 2B
  9. Buehler – P

There is no reason for the Dodgers to not explore this trade scenario because they have enough salary coming off the books and would still be in a position to sign someone like Gerrit Cole.

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(photo credit: NBC Sports Chicago)