The Dodgers want a right-handed bat. Why not trade for Kris Bryant?
You all heard what Andrew Friedman said. The Los Angeles Dodgers are prioritizing a right-handed bat this offseason, which all but officially indicates Justin Turner won’t be returning. We’re surely not going to rule out a reunion, but those comments make it seem like it’s probably not going to happen.
In the event it doesn’t, then the Dodgers would also have a hole at third base. You’d have to assume Friedman would be looking for a relatively significant impact bat when you take into account Turner’s production for the team during his tenure.
Given the Dodgers’ window coupled with some uncertainty surrounding Corey Seager, who will be a free agent after 2021, why doesn’t the front office go for it all and trade for Chicago Cubs star third baseman Kris Bryant?
The free agent market doesn’t exactly have the sexiest options for LA, so the big move will more than likely come via a trade. It’s no secret the Cubs and Bryant don’t have the best relationship (stemming from that service-time grievance) and Chicago is looking to shed payroll.
Well, Bryant’s hitting free agency after next season and the Cubs can shed his ~$19 million salary and insert David Bote at the hot corner to quickly save some dough. Getting some value for Bryant heading into a year in which their championship aspirations feel minimized is probably the best move, especially since it’s evident he won’t be re-signing there.
Chicago only has Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks as its returning starters, making their rotation very incomplete. On top of that, they picked up Anthony Rizzo’s team option (indicating that’s money they’re willing to keep on the books, though it’s possible he’s still traded since he’s entering a contract year) and will be faced with tough contract situations surrounding Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber, both of whom are impending free agents.
More good news for the Dodgers? Bryant’s value has diminished since he’ll be nothing more than a rental and had a really bad 2020 that was affected by injuries. Friedman can get away with limited damage to his farm system in a potential deal while maintaining star-caliber play at the hot corner.
It’s long been talked about that Los Angeles was a landing spot for Bryant, so it’s time for the Dodgers to act on this advantageous opportunity that capitalizes on the Cubs’ desperation and fills a glaring void.