Phillies: Is a Kris Bryant trade still possible, and at what cost?

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 27: Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs in action during a game against the New York Mets at Citi Field on August 27, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 27: Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs in action during a game against the New York Mets at Citi Field on August 27, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Just when you thought the chances of Kris Bryant in red Phillies pinstripes were dwindling, a glimmer of hope comes back.

We heard a few days ago that the Cubs and Phillies didn’t see each other as good trade partners for Kris Bryant, but a conflicting report out of Colorado might suggest otherwise. The Rockies and Cubs reportedly have had trade talks involving both teams All-Star third basemen Bryant and Nolan Arenado, but how serious is it?

Patrick Saunders, a beat writer for the Denver Post (subscription required), reported on Thursday that a source told him the Cubs might be trying to create media noise to make a better deal with Phillies, Nationals or Braves.

This news comes after Phillies general manager Matt Klentak openly talked about Bryant in his press conference.

"“You can be sure that when a star player on another team becomes available, the Phillies have checked in on that player.”"

Bryant is a player that would be worth going over the luxury tax for, even in the minds of owner John Middleton and general manager Matt Klentak.

Bryant has two years of control left on his deal after his service time grievance failed, he is set to become a free agent after the 2021 season. Since he made his debut in  2015 he has slashed .284/.385/.516 totaling 138 home runs and 403 RBIs.

He is a superstar, and slotting him into this Philadelphia lineup would make the Phillies a lot more dangerous of a team.

First, what would it take to get the Cubs to trade him away to another National League contender?

A Bryant trade would most likely start with top prospect Alec Bohm being the centerpiece, he is the perfect prospect for Chicago to get back in a deal. Getting back a 3B prospect like Bohm, who is only 23 years old, would be incredible for them if they decided to part ways with Bryant.

MLB Pipeline ranks Bohm as the #1 overall third base prospect in baseball and the 30th best all-around prospect.

There are questions about Bohm’s defense but there is no denying the pop in his bat, Bohm can flat out hit. In his two minor league seasons between A and AA (165 games), he has slashed .293/.368/.474 with 21 home runs and 97 RBIs.

I believe a package of Bohm, a pitching prospect along the lines of Adonis Medina, Francisco Morales or maybe even a throw-in of Pivetta or Eflin plus Adam Haseley could get the deal done.

For Philadelphia, is it worth it to pursue a trade for Bryant?

Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies /

Philadelphia Phillies

The first question is “how important is control for the Phillies?”

They would have Bohm for six years (depending on the CBA) and Bryant for only two until he is due for a big payday. But it also depends on how confident the Phillies feel about Bohm. They could have a guy who is just as productive at the plate as Bryant, who is younger and has four more years of control if it all works out the way people believe it could.

With speculation that the DH is coming to the NL by the start of the 2021 season, the Phillies could be reluctant to trade Bohm. There are obvious question marks about how he will stick at 3B in the majors but a DH could set the Phillies up for a great situation.

Around the league scouts rave about the kind of bat Bohm possesses; he could be a consistent .300 hitter with pop if everything goes right for him. If his defense doesn’t end up as what the organization wants it to be they could easily consider putting  Bohm at 1B and have Rhys Hoskins, whose defense is below average, slotted in at the DH spot and figure out the 3B position that offseason.

A trade by Opening Day doesn’t seem very likely, but you never know. Just imagine the lineup with  Bryant in between Harper, Hoskins, and Realmuto, plus guys like Didi, McCutchen and Segura around them.

All that plus Joe Girardi at the helm, that is intimidating for opposing pitchers to have to face night in and night out.