Say what you will, but The Athletic’s Jim Bowden is still on the Bryant-to-LA train to a degree. The Dodgers are clearly in the mix to acquire Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox, but Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant could be an excellent back-up plan if the Dodgers strike out on yet another big name.
In Bowden’s most recent column, he links Kris Bryant to Los Angeles:
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) January 31, 2020
Here is the specific excerpt regarding the Dodgers for those who do not have subscriptions to The Athletic:
The Dodgers seem to be more interested in making a deal for Mookie Betts, Lindor or Arenado. If they whiff on all three of them, however, they could circle back to the Cubs. The Dodgers could offer a package centered on pitching prospects Tony Gonsolin and Josiah Gray. Bryant’s versatility to play third base, left field and right field fits well with the Dodgers’ blueprint of mixing and matching.
Bryant being back in trade rumors stems from him losing a service time grievance against the Cubs earlier this week. The loss meant that he now has two more seasons of team control before hitting free agency, making him a more attractive trade piece for a team.
Kris Bryant is one of the best third basemen in the league and his versatility — with the capability to play first base, third base, and corner outfield spots — would be an exceptional fit in Los Angeles.
This will be all moot if the Dodgers do in fact acquire Mookie Betts, but Kris Bryant is almost as big of an acquisition. Bryant is just 28 years old and posted a slash line of .282/.382/.521 in 2019. He could be even better in 2020 and his grievance case losing could incentivize the Cubs to trade him now to get top dollar.
Still, the likelihood this move gets done feels slim to nil.