It has been speculated for a while now that the Nationals could be interested in the Cubs’ third baseman, Kris Bryant. After the disaster that was the 2020 COVID season, it was clear to everyone that this roster needed a boost at the plate and at third base. Enter Kris Bryant.
The Chicago Cubs are currently sitting 9.5 games out of the NL Central lead and are six games out of the NL Wild Card race, behind the Dodgers and Padres. Bryant‘s career numbers up to now are an average of .279, OBP of .378, and OPS of .885. The current everyday third baseman for the Nationals, Starlin Castro, has numbers that are all lower than Bryant’s over this season and his career. Bryant also has 19 more home runs in five fewer seasons than Castro, proving his power versus Castro’s.
The Nationals’ farm system is not very strong at the moment, so having the right pieces to give up for a player of Bryant’s caliber will not be very easy. But the Nationals have been on a tear throughout the month of June and have possibly positioned themselves to be NL East contenders. Bryant fits most of the parameters that Rizzo looks for in a midseason acquisition. The one thing he is missing is team control since he has an expiring contract after this season. To balance this, my suggestion is to resign him after the season, should he be acquired. Bryant will be 30 years old at the start of next season, giving him what could be three or four, maybe more, good years left playing third base and hitting baseballs for Washington.
If Rizzo is able to pull a trade like this off, it could possibly eliminate the need for Carter Kieboom to be a good player for the organization as well. He could be dangled as a trade piece, letting the Nationals draft infielders try and make up that ground on the prospect side of things. Normally Rizzo emphasizes pitching, but with all of the injuries mounting and a come-down of the batting possible in the future, another bat like Bryant would be very helpful.
Kris Bryant would make this team better instantly, but the current players need to keep playing at a high level to give Mike Rizzo an opportunity to pull the trigger on a trade of this caliber. This trade is only happening if the Cubs continue their slide and the Nationals continue their winning ways. But if this happens, be on the lookout for Mike Rizzo to make this trade deadline very interesting.