The trade rumors surrounding Chicago Cubs star third baseman Kris Bryant have died down since the MLB season was indefinitely suspended. Considering how much time is available during the league's hiatus, however, the franchise should absolutely continue brainstorming trade packages for the former NL MVP.
After losing his service time grievance, Bryant will officially become a free agent after the 2021 season. That makes him an attractive trade piece in that potential buyers will have control of him for at least one full campaign before needing to come to a decision on a contract extension. With all of this in mind, let's highlight a few trade packages that the Cubs can reasonably pursue for the 28-year-old stud.
3. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies need to bounce back after a playoff-free 2019 campaign, and trading for Bryant would change the entire outlook of Joe Girardi's club. Philadelphia would likely have to cough up heralded infielder Alec Bohm, the team's No. 1-ranked prospect according to MLB.com. The Cubs would also be amenable to right-hander Adonis Medina, Philly's No. 5-ranked prospect. Expect Chicago to be stingy in talks, so unloading a pair of touted youngsters will be necessary to complete a trade for Bryant at this point.
2. Atlanta Braves
The Braves don't have a lot of money to work with, and Bryant will cost a hefty $18 million in 2020, but the team still still has a cavernous hole at third base to fill after losing out on re-signing Josh Donaldson. Atlanta's farm system is loaded with talent, however, and trading for a player of Bryant's caliber will bring GM Alex Anthopoulos around to coughing up two top-five prospects. The Cubs need young pitching, so the No. 4-ranked Kyle Wright will almost certainly need to be included here. Additionally, the Braves must prepare themselves to cough up their No. 2-ranked youngster, outfielder Drew Waters.
1. Texas Rangers
When rumors were swirling, the Rangers were one of the teams reported be inquiring about Bryant's availability. We doubt that Texas' interest in the three-time All-Star has faded. The Rangers could set the tone by making Josh Jung, the team's first-round draft pick in 2019, available for Chicago. Texas could pair Jung with right-hander Cole Winn, the club's No. 4-ranked prospect, per MLB.com. Make no mistake about it: the Cubs aren't going to cave easily. Two elite prospects are going to be required to land Bryant.