Spring Training is already getting rolling, but it seems there’s still some possibility for a big deal or two. The Cubs are still talking through possible Kris Bryant trade scenarios with rival organizations, according to Patrick Mooney of The Athletic (subscription link).
There’s still no indication that Bryant is particularly likely to be dealt, or that talks are especially hot and heavy with any given team. But the Chicago organization is not only “still active in the trade market,” per Mooney, but is “feeling a sense of urgency to do something” to improve the roster.
Potential landing spots remain as obvious as ever on paper — and as obscure as ever in terms of firm public knowledge. Mooney says the Rockies and Cubs still haven’t “completely dismissed” sorting out a wild swap involving Nolan Arenado, but it remains awfully hard to see that coming together.
Otherwise, we can only assess reasonable fits based upon an analysis of rosters, balance sheets, and tangential reporting. The Rangers make a good bit of conceptual sense as a match. It seems fair to wonder whether the Padres could engage the Cubs after missing on Mookie Betts, with the idea of utilizing Bryant in the corner outfield. The Phillies certainly could stand to improve at third base; the Braves and Nationals also make some degree of sense.
As much as anything, the still-open situation makes for added intrigue as the Cubs prepare to launch a fascinating spring. The team is not only attempting a cultural re-boot, but still has quite a few roster and playing-time situations to sort through. And there’ll be no shortage of scrutiny after another deafeningly quiet winter on the transactional front.