The 2021 MLB Trade Deadline is July 30, and it's widely expected that the biggest name to be dealt by then will be former NL MVP, Rookie of the Year and four-time All-Star Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs. He's set for free agency after the season and his monetary demands – Bryant is a Scott Boras client and Boras guys always hold out for the most money on the market -- are thought to be way too high for the suddenly frugal Cubs. SportsLine offers MLB odds on whether Bryant gets dealt and potentially to which team.
When the Cubs were 42-33, it might have been tough for new team president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer to justify a selloff, but that's no longer the case – there have been multiple reports that a selloff is now a done deal -- with the Cubbies 44-46 and third in the NL Central. This is not a playoff roster. First baseman Anthony Rizzo, shortstop Javy Baez, starting pitcher Zach Davies and closer Craig Kimbrel all could be traded as well because they too are pending free agents.
Bryant should return the most in a deal, though, because he can play every outfield position, first base and third base. He's having a nice bounce-back season at the plate with a .271 average, 16 homers and 46 RBIs. Bryant crushes left-handed pitching with a .348 average and 1.148 OPS.
The New York Mets make the most sense by far and they spoke to the Cubs about a potential Bryant trade this past winter. Led by Jacob deGrom, New York's pitching is probably good enough to win a World Series, but the Mets are second-to-last in the majors with 327 runs scored. Third baseman JD Davis is expected to be activated off the injured list right after the break, but as noted Bryant can play just about all over the field so he could spell Davis one day, Home Run Derby champ Pete Alonso at first another, etc.
The Atlanta Braves are three-time NL East champions, but they probably aren't winning that division again now that superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. is done for the year. Landing Bryant could help fill that void and, secondarily, keep him away from the Mets, who are -275 favorites in the NL East at William Hill Sportsbook.
Staying in the NL East, Bryant would be a huge boost over Starlin Castro at the hot corner on the Washington Nationals. They have seemingly been linked to Bryant since Anthony Rendon left town. In February 2020, MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported the Nats turned down an offer of Bryant for some combination of prospects Carter Kieboom, Luis Garcia and Jackson Rutledge.
Would the Cubs even think about trading Bryant to the rival Brewers or White Sox? He would make a ton of sense for Milwaukee, which also has the pitching to win a title, as an upgrade at third base. The Pale Hose more need a second baseman, one of the few positions Bryant hasn't played.
Oakland as currently constituted probably isn't going to beat out Houston in the AL West, but adding Bryant's bat at DH or in the outfield – the A's are fine at third base with Matt Chapman -- could change that. That Bryant doesn't have a contract after this season would probably appeal to the cost-conscious A's. Seattle has been a pleasant surprise and Bryant would offer a huge upgrade for the Mariners in left field or at DH.
One can never rule out the big spenders like the Yankees or Dodgers, but the Bombers already are too right-handed at the plate, while Los Angeles might need to find starting pitching instead with Trevor Bauer's legal issues and Clayton Kershaw injured.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Will Kris Bryant be traded by the July 30 deadline?
- Yes -180
- No +140
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: If Kris Bryant is traded, to which team?
- Mets +200
- Braves +300
- A's +400
- Nationals +500
- Mariners +600
- Brewers +900
- Dodgers +1200
- Yankees +1500
- White Sox +1500
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