I’ll keep this one brief because there’s not a great deal to add to this topic beyond what we’ve already covered, but it bears discussing as part of the big picture. There have been reports throughout the offseason of interest in Kris Bryant on both coasts, namely the Dodgers and Mets. While a lot of that is speculative, there have been some little nuggets here and there that provide some veracity.
For instance, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweeted Friday that “There’s been dialogue between the Mets and Cubs recently.” He added that the Cubs like catcher Francisco Alvarez, the Mets’ No. 2 overall prospect and No. 58 in MLB, but New York’s system is pretty thin and team president Sandy Alderson said Thursday that he’s not interested in trading what’s left at the top.
There's been dialogue between the Mets and Cubs recently about Kris Bryant. The Cubs really like catcher Francisco Alvarez, one of the Mets' top prospects. Sandy Alderson indicated yesterday he isn't trading top prospects.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) January 8, 2021
Not that the Cubs could really expect to get any team’s second-ranked prospect given all the sticking points with Bryant’s situation. And that’s where we get to another report from a source I prefer to avoid unless absolutely necessary. Jim Bowden of The Athletic wrote earlier this week that “the Cubs’ asking price has been too high for interested teams like the Dodgers to pursue in earnest.”
Bowden’s information seems to fit with what Puma said, though there’s another report out of New York that the Cubs and Mets “have not spoken in several weeks.” That comes from SNY’s Andy Martino, who’s got something of a dubious history when it comes to this sort of news. His five-sentence post opened by saying there is “increasing industry chatter” that Bryant could be traded “as soon as this weekend,” which feels a little contrived.
In any case, Martino repeats that the Mets — who he says prefer to stay under the $210 million CBT threshold — would not be among the teams to pursue Bryant most aggressively. Maybe it’s my bias, but this sure feels like one of those leaks meant to goose the Cubs a little or just to give the Mets more leverage this winter.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it all plays out, but I continue to maintain that the Cubs should not rush to move Bryant. Given what we’ve seen with the Yu Darvish/Victor Caratini trade and Kyle Schwarber getting $10 million from the Nationals, however, it’s not unthinkable that Jed Hoyer is feeling pressure to aggressively pursue below-market deals.