Fans didn’t want to see their third baseman leave after helping the Cubs win the World Series in 2016.
However, moving on from Bryant is proving to be a wise decision.
While Bryant is still a fan favorite in Chicago, the Cubs opted to trade him in 2021 before the trade deadline.
So what is making that 2021 trade a wise move in 2022?
Ian Happ’s Production Is Improving, Making Bryant An Afterthought
Offensive production is a premium that the Cubs got out of Bryant during their World Series championship run.
His 39 home runs and 102 RBIs in 2016 helped him win the NL MVP award that season.
5 years ago, Kris Bryant won the NL Most Valuable Player award.
Bryant slashed .292/.385/.554 this year, with 39 home runs, 121 runs scored, and 102 RBI. 🔥pic.twitter.com/i6RqH7Jzgw
— Cubs Zone ™️ (@CubsZone) November 17, 2021
However, those two statistics are still career highs for him six years later.
But that isn’t all that’s showing the move away from him was a wise choice for Chicago.
Ian Happ is having a breakout season in 2022, giving the Cubs hope Happ can replace Bryant’s offensive production.
While he doesn’t have the home runs or RBIs Bryant posted in 2016, his 2022 season is much better than any other season of his career.
With him turning a corner after the All-Star break, the Cubs hope he’ll continue making those improvements.
Bryant Has Missed Games In 2022 Because Of Injuries
While Bryant’s .306 batting average for this season is great, it’s because he’s only played very few games this season.
Injuries and the birth of his child have kept him away from the baseball field.
Kris Bryant is a high-value injury put on 10-day injured list due to foot injury.
Manager Bud Black said Tuesday that Bryant (foot) continues to wear a protective walking boot, and it has yet to be determined whether or not the Rockies star will return this season. pic.twitter.com/5dE9IO3reO
— SpreadKnowledge (@SKSportsBets) August 24, 2022
His latest injury, a foot injury, might end his 2022 season.
However, those injuries are the problem of the Colorado Rockies now, not the Cubs.
Had they kept him, they’d need a replacement for him to cover him while missing games.
But the Cubs now have Patrick Wisdom, who took over Bryant’s spot in 2022.
While his production isn’t like that of his predecessor, he’s been reliable as a player health wise.
However, the two players that Chicago got in return for Bryant make the 2021 trade a wise move.
Alexander Canario And Caleb Kilian Show Promise In Cubs Farm System
The 2021 trade with the San Francisco Giants got the Cubs Alexander Canario and Caleb Kilian.
Both players are showing a solid performance with the Cubs Triple-A farm system.
Canario is batting .253 with 31 home runs, 83 RBIs, and a .886 OPS.
While those numbers are solid, the centerfielder has yet to get the call to the majors.
However, Kilian has seen work with the Cubs during the 2022 season.
While his record as a minor league pitcher is 5-2 for the Iowa Cubs, he didn’t fare as well in the majors.
His three starts in the majors resulted in a 0-2 record and a 10.32 ERA.
But that doesn’t mean all is lost with him, as the 25-year-old has plenty to learn.
In the end, the Cubs got two quality players that they are currently developing in Iowa.
While some fans might miss Bryant for all the work he did in 2016, the future is in these new players.
Those fans will see it was the wise move later on with the Cubs.