During the 2021 MLB offseason, Chicago Cubs rumors have been hot and heavy, especially around Kris Bryant. Around these parts we have seen many “perfect trade” ideas, including three Willson Contreras ideas and one perfect Kris Bryant trade, now is time for the second perfect Kris Bryant trade, but in this one, we will take a different route than stockpiling young prospects and look more at filling holes entering the 2021 MLB season.
Kris Bryant Trade Plan
With the Cubs seemingly ready to rebuild many would expect them to target prospects, but when it comes to building the perfect Kris Bryant trade, gathering prospects may not be the route to take. The Cubs will need to look towards young players who are MLB ready but not big-name prospects.
Due to Bryant only having one-year left on his current contract and having Scott Boras as his agent, the unfortunate truth is his value is minuscule. How does Boras play into this? Well, it is not often you see Boras’ client’s sign contract extensions, especially when said team is not improving or winning.
The Other Guys
What team will need to be involved to construct the perfect Kris Bryant trade? That team would be the NL East contender, Atlanta Braves. The Braves simply has the big league pieces to entice the Cubs to ship former NL MVP out of town. The Cubs and Braves seem to be a match made in heaven at first glance. The Cubs need a shake and the Braves need to add a proven winner to a young team looking for leadership. The perfect Kris Bryant trade will cover both teams’ bases.
The Perfect Kris Bryant Trade
The perfect Kris Bryant trade will see the Cubs send star third baseman to Atlanta, but what do they get in return?
First, it is a high-risk, but a high-reward for Bryant’s replacement Austin Riley. Riley is still young and yet to play a full 162 MLB season but thus far in his career, he has been a disappointment. Through 131 career games, he is slashing .232/.288/.448, with 26 home runs, 76 RBIs, and 157 strikeouts. Riley being a former top prospect is not developing fast enough for a Braves team ready to win, therefore making sense to head to the North Side and continue his development.
Riley for Bryant would not be the perfect Kris Bryant trade, so who else is heading to the Windy City? How about a back-up catcher in Chicago? Maybe even Cubs star Willson Contreras’ little brother William Contreras. Riley already catching the Cubs’ eye add in a young catcher to back up Willson and now the front office is smiling. William Contreras, the younger brother of Willson is under team control until 2027, meaning he has not seen a lot of major league time. With that, he still needs to be groomed. Is there anyone better to groom him than his older brother? Unlikely.
The younger Contreras brother has only appeared in four major league games. With 10 plate appearances in 2020, William hit .400, just a small sample size. Although in the minors William did in fact have a solid .279/.345/.402 slash line. Adding William to the perfect Kris Bryant trade, to Chicago could make a Willson Contreras departure down the line less painful.
This price may be steep for a potential one-year rental like Bryant, but Bryant could very well be Atlanta’s missing piece. Cubs fans may be upset at this return but the fact is Bryant is the same as he was in 2016, but he will demand just as much money as he would have back then. Adding Riley and Contreras for Bryant could very well be the perfect Kris Bryant trade.
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