The Chicago Cubs could very well be on the verge of blowing up their core and shipping star third baseman Kris Bryant out of town. If they are truly intent on sending a slugging former MVP elsewhere to shake up their roster, there are two trade partners in particular make a whole lot of sense.
First, the Texas Rangers, who are looking to start winning as they enter a brand new ballpark, followed by the Atlanta Braves, each of whom were mentioned as potential trade partners by ESPN insiders Dave Schoenfeld and Bradford Doolittle.
The Rangers could give up 2018 first-round pick Cole Winn, writes Schoenfeld, who put up a 4.46 ERA with the Class A Hickory Crawdads, and 2019 first rounder Josh Jung, a third baseman who hit .287 in 40 games with Hickory. This would give the Cubs a long-term answer at the hot corner while also bolstering their minor league system with a player that would easily become the best pitching prospect in the organization.
A potential other trade Schoenfeld mentions would send Bryant to Atlanta for top prospect Christian Pache, who hit .277 in 140 minor league games split between Double-A and Triple-A.
The Rangers deal sounds more realistic than Chicago flipping him to an NL team for one prospect straight up, but either swap would strengthen a weak Cubs farm system, which is ultimately what Theo Epstein wants to do in any potential Bryant trades.