Today’s article from Jeff Passan on the Trade Deadline is absolutely loaded with rumors and info you’ll want to consume. My head is spinning a bit just digesting it all, so up front, I’ll advise you to go check it out.
Naturally, Kris Bryant features prominently, given his stature in both baseball, generally, and in this year’s trade-related proceedings. But I didn’t quite expect Passan’s language on Bryant to be this clear. This is, by far, the firmest take we’ve seen yet that Bryant is going to be traded this month.
Among Passan’s Bryant comments (and there are more talking about Bryant as a seemingly quite-obvious-to-be-dealt player):
Kris Bryant is the biggest name who is almost certain to get dealt, and his versatility makes him awfully attractive to a number of teams that are adding ….
Bryant is as good as gone. Like I was saying, the versatility: 14 games played in center field (and remarkably well for someone who goes 6-foot-5, 240 pounds) among his 56 in the outfield and 28 at his natural position, third base. The needs everywhere are acute. The Mets need a bat — and could use him at third and all three outfield spots. Alec Bohm has been sub-replacement-level at third for the Phillies, and Bryant over Odubel Herrera in center is an easy call, too. A domestic violence investigation sidelined Nationals third baseman Starlin Castro. And that’s just in the NL East.
Now then. We have long suspected the Cubs would be willing to trade Bryant, seeing as an extension is a zero event and re-signing Bryant after the season is a very small probability event. So, in that respect, Passan writing about Bryant as a trade piece is not a shock. It might still jar us as fans to confront that future, but we all knew this was coming. The rumors have abounded for literal years.
What is surprising, however, is that Bryant kinda gets center stage in this discussion as the big name that’s obvious to go. “Almost certain to get dealt,” “as good as gone” – these are the kinds of phrases a connected writer uses when he’s hearing about trade talks happening in the market from multiple sources in multiple roles and multiple places. In other words, I suspect this isn’t merely Passan connecting fairly obvious dots to create a Kris Bryant rumor.
Now, those rumors out of New York – and the pressure from their media – take on an additional level of focus, right? A league-wide expectation that Bryant is going to be traded changes the calculus a bit on how you approach stray mentions. It does for me, anyway. I’ll have to calibrate a bit.