Whether or not Kris Bryant is really out of today’s lineup to “rest his legs” is immaterial. The Cubs long-time third baseman is heavily involved in many rumors at the moment and is likely to be dealt before tomorrow’s deadline. And although the Giants have popped up most recently in connection to Bryant, the Mets continue to be the front-runners for the former MVP.
And much like the increased specificity out of the West Coast rumors (Triple-A catching prospect Joey Bart?), a potential return from the East Coast is making its rounds and it’s also got a big-league ready twist.
Could the Mets be on the verge of something big? There’s an anticipation in the market of a big move by the Mets. Rival execs have said that 3B J.D. Davis is available in trades, with some speculating that this move would likely be tied to an addition of Kris Bryant. Other industry sources say Trevor Story fits the bill, which would eat into the playing time of Jonathan Villar and/or Luis Guillorme.
A few things here.
First, depending on how you read this, J.D. Davis could be seen as either (1) part of the return for Kris Bryant or (2) as part of a combination of moves that ultimately gets Bryant to New York but sends Davis somewhere else. I can genuinely see both routes making sense. In terms of option No. 1, the Mets could simply prefer the positional versatility and much better defense of Bryant over Davies, even if Davies has been hitting the ball very well this season. And like Bart, Davies is the sort of return the Cubs would target to make a difference as soon as next season (and the presumed addition of the universal DH plus the, oh, half-dozen expected positional vacancies, would make his bat even easier to get into the lineup). In terms of option No. 2, which, to be candid, feels more likely, the Mets could add the positional versatility/defense/etc. of Bryant while also adding other complimentary pieces for the run this season.
Second, there’s an important part we’re skipping over: Trevor Story. McDaniel’s reporting suggests that the Mets are also interested in adding Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, who could help cover shortstop while Francisco Lindor is out and move around the infield (3B) thereafter. The Yankees (and a handful of other teams) have been heavily rumored for Story lately, as well, but then Bryant has his fair share of suitors too. With that said, the Yankees are not one of the teams currently involved on Bryant, so your rooting interest here – in terms of maximizing the return in a theoretical Bryant deal – is that Story does *not* end up with the Mets.
And finally, although McDaniel adds that “there doesn’t appear to be any momentum to either of these major deals right now,” he also concludes that “the next big deal for a position player has a good chance of involving the Mets.”
The deadline is just barely over 24 hours away, so stay tuned.