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With one team in sell mode and the other looking to add, the Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays look like a match for a significant trade.
The Chicago Cubs have made no secret they want to shed payroll, and third baseman Kris Bryant may or may not be having the joy sucked out of him by the trade rumors surrounding him. In any case, the Cubs’ lineup could still look way different come Opening Day.
The Toronto Blue Jays, on the other hand, have been in add-mode. Signing George Springer to a franchise-record six-year, $150 million this week is the centerpiece move, but they’ve added to their pitching staff (Kirby Yates, Tyler Chatwood) and clearly aren’t sitting on their hands with rumors of interest in plenty of other arms.
The Blue Jays still have some areas they’d like to fill, as Scott Mitchell of TSN suggested.
Mitchell answered a comment asking if there’s any truth to the Cubs and Blue Jays discussing a deal for Bryant and right-hander Kyle Hendricks with one definitive word-“Yes.”
Let’s start with Mitchell’s initial checklist.
Two SP (starting pitchers) that matter-Hendricks fits that bill, with a 3.00 ERA, an ERA title (2.13 in 2016) and two top-10 finishes in Cy Young Award voting over the last five seasons.
3B (Biggio is strictly a backup plan)-Bryant has had two injury-riddled down years in the last three, but he is still a legit 30 homer-threat when he’s healthy. Cavan Biggio’s versatility is notable, and there may be some idea Vladimir Guerrero Jr. can play third base. But acquiring Bryant, who can also play the corner outfield spots if needed, consolidates things and adds another big bat to Toronto’s lineup.
If the Blue Jays did acquire Bryant, here’s how the lineup might look.
1-CF George Springer
2-SS Bo Bichette
3-3B Kris Bryant
4-1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
5-2B Cavan Biggio
6- LF Teoscar Hernandez/Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
7-RF Randal Grichuk
8-DH Rowdy Tellez
9-C Danny Jansen
I dropped Biggio down some to break up a righty-heavy lineup, but he could hit toward the top of the order with Springer dropping a couple spots. A trade for Bryant and Hendricks would likely require giving up someone like Hernandez, Gurriel or even Grichuk, along with a couple prospects. But in a broad sense, the selling Cubs and the buying Blue Jays could very well come together on a big deal to send Bryant and Hendricks north of the border.