The 2019-20 offseason is nearing its end, and the first spring training game looms just two weeks away. Earlier in this offseason, everyone around the majors was talking about Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon. Though the Phils did target both, Cole ended up in New York on a nine-year 324 million dollar contract. Rendon landed himself in Anaheim with the Angels on a seven year 245 million dollar contract. After the two big dogs were off the market, the Phils were able to get hold of shortstop Didi Gregorius for a one year deal. Other than that, the Phillies were only able to sign Zack Wheeler and multiple players on minor league deals. Some people thought they would go after more pitchers but they didn’t. Then Christmastime rolled around, and all of the sudden the baseball world was abuzz with the news that both Kris Bryant of the Cubs and Nolan Arenado of the Rockies could be traded.
Since the news first came out, the Arenado trade talks have started to quiet a little bit, while the Bryant talks are still ongoing. Just this past Wednesday the news came out that the Phillies were showing “active” interest in the third baseman. But let’s dig deeper and see, should we really trade for Kris Bryant?
First of all, Bryant has only two more seasons on his contract. So what’s the point of giving up big pieces of your possible future team to get a guy you can purely get with cash in the offseason of 2021-22? Let’s take a deeper look in Bryant’s stats. In 2015, Bryant’s rookie year, he hit .275 with 99 RBIs and 26 homers. Good stats for a rookie. He did better the next year, hitting .292 with 102 RBIs and 39 homers, leading his team to a World Series championship. In 2017, he did hit .295, but his power numbers went way down because he only hit 29 bombs to go along with 73 RBIs. He spent most of 2018 injured, so I will not go over those stats. Last season, Bryant got his average back up to .282 and hit 31 homeruns to go along with it, but he only batted in a total of 77 runs. After a quick look at his stats, I realize that none of his seasons have come close to his MVP year in 2016. Are we really willing to give up big pieces in order to get a guy who hasn’t had a really “great” season since 2016?
To answer that question, we’ll have to look into the #1 third baseman in the minors, Alec Bohm. In 40 games in 2018, Bohm hit .252 with 17 RBIs and 0 homers. But looking at his 2019 stats on the other hand, he hit .305 with 21 homers and 80 RBIs. Add a .896 OPS in there as well, and it appears we have our future third basemen. So to answer the question, “Should we trade for Kris Bryant?” In my opinion, I think the answer is no. Again, why take a chance on a guy who has just two more years left on his contract and hasn’t been really good since 2016? And give up big pieces of our future lineup like Spencer Howard and Alec Bohm? We already have the top third baseman in the minor leagues; I also suspect we’ll see him in the bigs at some point during the 2020 season. Then again, we’ve seen John Middleton and the front office do crazier things. Nobody ever knows what might happen next.