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Dodgers Rumors: Analyzing a Kris Bryant Trade from the Cubs to Los Angeles



After the Chicago Cubs traded Yu Darvish to San Diego, they signaled to the league that they are ready to punt the 2021 season. Since then, former MVP third baseman Kris Bryant has been one of the biggest names available on the trade market — especially after the Frankie Lindor trade.

Now, could the Dodgers get in the mix? With Justin Turner still a free agent and rumored to be apart in negotiations with LA, there’s an opening at third base for the boys in blue.

So could Andrew Friedman put together a package for the Cubs and Bryant? Absolutely. Should he? That’s a bigger question…

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So what does a deal look like? The Dodgers are deep in catching prospects and in starting pitching prospects. Given that Bryant has only a season left of team control and is expected to command a contract in excess of $20 million in arbitration — something the Cubbies do not want to pay — Andrew Friedman is solidly in the driver’s seat for a potential move.

Moreover, the veteran is coming off of the worst campaign of his career.

In only 34 games (reminder: 60 game season), his OPS was nearly 250 points below his career average as he battled injuries. Still, since his debut in 2015, he’s been one of the game’s top offensive threats with a 136 wRC+ in 740 career games, perhaps spelling a safe assumption that he’ll rebound in a full 162 game season.

Related: Rob Manfred Tells Teams to Prepare to Play All 162 Games

Of course, the heart of Dodgers fans will break seeing Justin Turner leave via free agency in this scenario. But if the two sides are as apart as the reports say, then you couldn’t say it was for a lack of trying with LA.

Still, in all likelihood, JT and Friedman will work out a fair middle ground before the start of spring training and Bryant will remain a Cub through opening day. But nothing is set in stone.

NEXT: A Bold But Not So Bold Prediction on Justin Turner’s Free Agency

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. First choice is of course Turner. Second choice in my opinion is to use a platoon to start with Will Smith and Rios and see if either can take the job full time. Both of these young players have had incredible offensive results so far.
    If Turner is not signed Smith could split time with Barnes or better yet Ruiz could be called up to give him more time and experience in the MLB and see if he can hit.
    I like Bryant and I believe he will demonstrate that 2020 was a fluke year as many MLB players had down years because of the season length and other issues. However he would be a 1 year rental and an expensive re-sign that isn’t necessary if in-house players can fill the need at 3rd.
    Using the players in-house would allow the team to lower payroll significantly and see how much real potential those two guys have when given more at-bats.

  2. Even if Turner comes back for 2 or 3 (not 4) years, the Dodgers still are looking at a hot corner transition. Is Bryant good for the long term? Hard to say, although an OPS averaging nearly 900 for six years would say yes. And the Dodgers certainly have plenty of catchers to deal. Of course, you want to make sure you aren’t trading away the next Johnny Bench. But the question remains just how many big ticket contracts are the Dodgers willing to take on? Seager, Bellinger, Buehler? Do you want to add Bryant to that? Will be interesting. BTW, Clint, isn’t time to take Verdugo off your list of Dodgers of the future?

  3. I think Kody Hoese will be ready in 2022 to debut. However, the Dodgers need to make sure he’s ready. Gavin Lux confirmed the Dodgers are sending him back to AAA at the start of the season-and his struggles are probably because he isn’t ready. The Dodgers need to adress 2nd Base, 3rd Base, another starter, and another reliever. 2nd base has Taylor, for now, that’s not going to be viable-Chris Taylor will hit around .260 with 15 home runs, but that’s around league average-we need someone who’s consistent and can do it everyday(D.J. LeMahieu?). 3rd base, Turner’s not what he was 2 years ago. Bryant should be signed long term-in his healthy seasons-2016, 2017,and 2019-he’s won MVP and finished around 10th the other two times-so he’s a perennial MVP contender. The dodgers also need another shutdown reliever-Josh Hader(trade market), Brad Hand, or Kirby Yates(F/A). Finally, they need another starter. Price helps, but Urias still hasn’t pitched past 100 Innings, and May and Gonsolin still need to prove they can handle starting for a whole season. May and Gonsolin tired during their last 3 starts, and messed up in the postseason. Available starters-Trevor Bauer(the big fish), Chris Archer(F/A), Luis Castillo(trade market-probably in a trade for Eugenio Suarez as well) or Kyle Hendricks(package him with Kris Bryant).

  4. JT is the man deep in the heart and soul of Dodger fans.. However, in the business of baseball where millions of dollars are the earnings and bank accounts of teams and players. (respectively). JT is a great batter, good third basemen, that age precipitates a certainty for injury… I can see both sides of equation.. JT’s value will never be greater, as the Dodgers don’t want to lock-up guaranteed big dollars for and extended period of time. Turner is the epitome of professionalism.. He will do just fine..

  5. Even though Muncy has not been good in the times that he has played 3rd base, I would give him a crash course defensively. He is a very hard worker who takes great pride in his game. The even if you sign JT, he can play 1st base. Rios is in the mix also. Bryant is very good but an expensive 1year rental. My want to check out Suarez on Cincinnati. Lots of power. I would also give Will Smith a try at 3rd base. He has played there before, and bring up Ruiz.

  6. i’m definitely against bryant. i’ve watched half of the cub games since ’16 and bryant is getting worse, not better. all our dodgers need is to fill holes at 2nd and 3rd for two years while rios, hoese, and lux get up to speed on a championship level team. if i were GM, i’d hire back turner and overpay for lemahieu. that will guarantee a continued being a world series favorite. if a ring is the holy grail, then go with proven pros instead of pups. just not bryant the rally killer.

  7. Clearly the choice would be resign Justin Turner and go out and trade for or purchase a proven BIG TIME RIGHT HANDED BAT, either at 3B or 2B, Turner can play both! Just get it done! Lux is not the answer! Trade Lux for pitching or that big time bat!

  8. Dodgers really don’t NEED anything, but if a big righthanded bat is a priority, I’d rather see Bryant in blue than Ozuna… assuming the Cubs don’t want too much in return.
    I’d want JT back too, but shift him to 1B. Muncy isn’t terrible in the field but his best role may be as DH. If there is no DH, Muncy was “serviceable” at 2B.
    Bryant would add to Dodger’s flexibility. He can shift to the OF if needed. (Possible lineup: Mookie, Seager, Turner, Belli, Bryant, Muncy, Smith (or Barnes), Pollock…with Taylor, Rios, and perhaps Ruiz also available.
    If Bryant returns to MVP-calibre form and commands big $$$, is that a bad problem to have? Friedman might have to figure out how to keep him around and also extend Seager, Buhler, Belli….

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