We know the Chicago Cubs are planning to sell this month, and we know that certain of their pitchers will have significant enough value on the market to get moved. But what we don’t know is whether the Cubs will actually trade any of their three long-time stars, each of whom is an outgoing free agent after this year: Kris Bryant, Javy Báez, and Anthony Rizzo.
Jesse Rogers was on Waddle and Silvy, reporting what he’s hearing this week in Colorado, and it was mighty specific and mighty interesting. To be sure, you take predictions with a grain of salt – and he offered his own caveat – but he certainly wasn’t simply stating what everyone is thinking.
Rogers says the latest he’s hearing? Those big three position players? They are not likely to be traded.
“This is based on the last few days of being here and talking to people in the game,” Rogers said on ESPN 1000. “It’s not gonna be that easy to get back what Jed Hoyer wants [for] the position players. My new prediction is: Báez, Rizzo, and Bryant are on this team on August 1.”
Pretty straightforward, and Rogers’ predictions on this front are not based on nothing. I’ve learned to listen when Rogers drops these kinds of things on the radio, and incorporate them into our general thinking.
It all squares with the logic, though, because the Cubs have potential end-of-season value in these three guys even if they aren’t competitive and even if the players are traded. First, there’s the qualifying offer that can turn into a draft pick after the second round (not a huge return, but not nothing). Second, there’s the opportunity to re-sign these guys before they hit the open market (with the weight of a qualifying offer on their back). Again, not necessarily significant value, but not nothing. Add them together, and compare it against what are typically soft midseason offers for position players, and it’s not like Rogers’ prediction is all that wild.
Now, then. Kris Bryant would seem to have the most trade value of the three, though, and would also seem to be the least likely of the three to re-sign after the season. So you’ve gotta caveat Bryant, at least, right?
And Rogers does, calling the New York Mets the one caveat on Bryant.
“That’s the team I keep hearing about. If the Mets give Jed what he’s looking for, he’ll trade [Bryant] there. But I think he might end up [staying in Chicago], get the qualifying offer, turn it down, and the Cubs will take that compensatory draft pick instead of some dreck they’re gonna get back in a trade.”
Rogers correctly points out that midseason position player trades in recent memory have not netted huge returns, and he doesn’t believe Jed Hoyer wants to trade Bryant for a soft return just to get something, especially this early in his presidency. Hoyer would rather have Bryant “walk away on his own,” according to Rogers.
So, there you have it. Take the information, stick it in your back pocket, and keep it in mind as the rumors swirl. Again, it squares with a lot of what we’d already been thinking, particularly with respect to the unlikelihood of Báez and Rizzo being traded, and with respect to the longstanding Mets-Bryant rumors kicking back up.
I have a new (and surprising?) prediction on the trade front regarding the Cubs. Talked with the guys about it in here. https://t.co/K5ur6OVFKj
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) July 13, 2021