Turns Out the Seattle Mariners "Went in Heavy" on Kris Bryant at the Trade Deadline

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Turns Out the Seattle Mariners “Went in Heavy” on Kris Bryant at the Trade Deadline

Chicago Cubs

I remember Kevin Goldstein, formerly of the Houston Astros’ front office, saying on a podcast once that, mixed in with all the total BS, outsiders hear of only about 8% of actual trade/signing talks that happen behind the scenes. That means, in his estimation, 92% of the talks that took place (but didn’t result in any kind of move) never make it into the public sphere. For all we know, the Cubs once tried to acquire Derek Jeter!

That’s why I love hearing, even long after the fact, about trade or signing talks that took place, or even topics that were seriously considered internally. Not only is it simply entertaining, but it also can teach you some things about how certain teams are operating, how certain players are perceived, how various clubs relate to each other, and so on and so on.

For the Cubs most recently, that means I’m all about hearing backfilled stories on what happened at the Trade Deadline. What *other* talks did the Cubs have, for example?

To that end, here’s the scoop from Mariners insider Shannon Drayer and James “Boy Howdy” Osborn on the most recent edition of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Talking Mariners podcast, with Drayer saying of Kris Bryant at the Trade Deadline: “They went in heavy on him. Obviously they liked him, but they didn’t go in heavy enough.”

That was not a team we heard connected to Bryant and the Cubs in serious rumors (recall, the Mariners did some really weird stuff at the deadline, acquiring only fringe rentals while also sending their closer to the rival Astros). Primarily, the didn’t-trade-for-him team we heard about most was the Rays (a Bryant-Kimbrel combo deal centered on Tyler Glasnow that could’ve turned out to be a disaster).

The Cubs, of course, wound up sending Bryant to the Giants for outfield prospect Alexander Canario and pitching prospect Caleb Kilian, each a top 15 type in a deep Cubs system. For what rental position players get in the current era, it was a strong return, but you obviously wonder immediately what the Mariners might’ve been willing to do. Clearly the Cubs preferred the Giants’ offer, and maybe the Mariners never really made a compelling offer. But that Mariners farm system is one of the clear five best in baseball, so it’s easy to dream. To be sure, the Cubs weren’t going to get one of the top 50 guys (the Mariners have at least FOUR of them), but there is a lotta talent there. Oh to be a fly on the window when the Cubs were mulling how they wanted to proceed.

Going forward, there’s an implication – discussed heavily in that podcast – that the Mariners might make Bryant their top free agent target. There’s no real impact on the Cubs there, as I think we all know they will not be making a serious Bryant pursuit, but it’s still interesting to me. Given the Mariners’ positioning – lots of money to spend, lots of young talent percolating up – they could be one of the most aggressive teams this offseason.

The Giants, for their part, haven’t done much to make folks believe they will be aggressive in retaining Bryant, even if that’s still tentatively what I expect to happen when all is said and done.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.