The first week of Spring Training is officially here, and with it will come a renewed conversation about the lack of changes to the roster for the second consecutive offseason.
And, with that in mind, and with the Mookie Betts blockbuster finally completed, you’re going to see the Kris Bryant trade rumors linger a bit longer. Even as position players are due to report to Spring Training in just five days, no one is putting their foot down to say talks aren’t happening behind the scenes.
Because they are:
Is a Kris Bryant deal on deck? The Cubs have been weighing trade possibilities, even with spring training about to begin, sources told @Ken_Rosenthal and @TheAthleticCHI. A look at their options: https://t.co/TQnaDeZCnf
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) February 11, 2020
Setting aside the Bryant stuff – which is not really a surprise at this point, even if all agree a trade is still unlikely – the biggest takeaway from Mooney’s report is that the Cubs, per his sources, are still active in the trade market as we speak. Mooney frames it as the organization “feeling a sense of urgency to do something” to a roster that has seen no fundamental changes for the second straight offseason. It isn’t just about unlikely Bryant trade talks.
Players are flowing into Spring Training this week, and eventually, they start to coalesce together as a team. I doubt the Cubs – or trade partners – want to be working on disruptive trades in the middle of March if they could instead get a deal done now to allow for a full Spring Training of incorporating new players. I would stay very tuned this week.
Relatedly, Jesse Rogers was on ESPN1000 to discuss Cubs Spring Training, and of course, he got the Kris Bryant trade question. I agree with Rogers’ sense that, *if* something is going to happen, it is far more likely to happen before position players report later this week than at some point in the middle of Spring Training. Then you’d see a slight chance just before Opening Day (maybe some team gets desperate), but it’s really unlikely at this point that Bryant is not with the Cubs at least until trade season arrives in June and July.
All that said, it was clear from Rogers’ reporting that no one outside the front office can predict with confidence what is going to happen – the lips are very tight on this one, and major trades are simply hard to execute.
That said, Rogers is certain that the Cubs have tried to find a good deal for Bryant. He said it repeatedly. So that squares with Mooney’s sources that indicate the Cubs are still active in the trade market (whether involving Bryant or more than Bryant).