The MLB trade deadline is looming, and teams are preparing to sell, buy, or stand pat.
One of the most attractive trade pieces available is Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant.
The former 2015 National League MVP is having a strong season overall, hitting .264 with 53 runs scored, 16 homers, 48 RBI, and a .835 OPS.
He is showing that, with health on his side, he could be a difference-maker for contenders.
The problem for the Cubs (who have already said they will sell before the deadline) is that he is a free agent after the season, slightly diminishing his value.
A deal is expected to get done eventually, though, so it’s fair to wonder: Where will Bryant play from August on?
Here are three MLB teams that should, and could, give him a look even as a rental.
3. Philadelphia Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies are fighting with three other teams in the NL East to take the division.
They are awfully close, too, as they are currently in second place just three games behind the New York Mets.
The Phillies are giving every chance to Alec Bohm to run away with the ‘third baseman of the future’ job, but even though he was playing better until his positive COVID-19 test, his season line is still just .243/.298/.343.
The Phils could bring Bryant to play third, or if they want to stick with Bohm, they can have the hypothetical newcomer play in the outfield.
If Bryant keeps producing, they will find a spot for him, but one thing is clear: he would give Philly’s playoff chances a huge boost.
2. San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants are still in possession of the top spot of the NL West division with a 59-35 record, better than the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres.
However, both teams are close and, quite frankly, are just as good as the Giants, if not better.
San Francisco has a great shot at making the playoffs when all is said and done, but they could use an offensive upgrade.
Third baseman Evan Longoria is eligible to return from the 60-day injured list on August 5, and he has actually been quite good when healthy.
But the Giants can take advantage of Bryant’s versatility, as he can play the hot corner, first base, and the outfield corners.
If Bryant produces, and he has this year after having nagging physical issues in the last few years, he could help the Giants hold off their rivals and win the NL West division.
Since the Giants could also use a reliever, perhaps they can find a way to package closer Craig Kimbrel with Bryant.
Giants need a REAL closer and another power bat. Sounds like Kris Bryant and Craig Kimbrel should be the move.
— THEGODFRESCO 🏁 (@GSDOUBLEU) July 21, 2021
That would be quite the statement from San Francisco.
1. New York Mets
Right now, the Mets’ priority before the trade deadline is acquiring at least one or two reliable starters.
Even general manager Zack Scott said that the priority is acquiring starting pitching.
We can’t, however, rule out the Mets as a potential destination for Kris Bryant.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 16, 2021
Even if it’s just a rental, the move can make sense for the Mets as long as they don’t forget to bring pitching.
And if there is a team with the financial power to entertain the idea of an extension with Bryant, it’s the Mets.
Bryant is a superior defensive alternative to J.D. Davis, and his track record as an offensive producer, which includes an MVP award, would give him the edge as well.
He could make the Mets much, much more dangerous than they already are.