Texas Rangers: Five trade targets remaining this offseason
By Kenneth Nash
3B Kris Bryant (Chicago Cubs)
Of the players on the list, the most notable, and most valuable, is Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs. Bryant, for the majority of the offseason, has been the highest profile player on the reported trade block until Nolan Arenado’s name crept up towards the end of December. A former NL MVP, the Cubs want to limit payroll growth and Bryant, who is nearing free agency, is an asset they want to capitalize on now.
Any deal for Bryant will rely on his current service time grievance against the Cubs which could drop his remaining years of team control from two years to just one. In fact, that has been the hold up all offseason and once that’s settled, it seems likely for Bryant’s market to move quickly. The 28-year old rebounded in 2019 after a string of injuries and finished the year with a .282 average, .902 OPS and 31 homers for the NL side of Chicago.
Bryant would be the star at third base many fans wanted Texas to find this offseason and would be a big name to have in the lineup as they enter Globe Life Field. He’s not an elite defender at third but holds his own with his bat more than making up the difference. He also has some experience in the outfield and at first base adding to his versatility. If the Rangers added KB, it would likely mean Frazier going across the diamond to play first, splitting time some with Ronald Guzman who, while being better defensively, doesn’t produce at the plate like Frazier has in recent years.
If the first two names on the list were expensive in terms of prospect returns, Bryant would mean emptying out the bank account. He’s sure to draw interest from a number of teams looking to contend in 2020 driving up his price and he has a much better track record than either Bell or Mancini including that MVP mentioned above. It would probably mean one of top prospects Josh Jung or Sam Huff plus a number of other highly touted prospects. For what will be likely two years of control, it’s a steep price to pay, but it might be worth the gamble.