The Cubs were reportedly shopping Kris Bryant at the winter meetings. Bryant has two years remaining on his contract (assuming he loses his grievance hearing over service time).
Bryant is estimated to earn $18.5 million this season. Next year will be the final year of arbitration eligibility and he will become an unrestricted free agent in 2022.
I know $18.5 million sounds ridiculous for the Rays, but remember Sternberg said he could spend up to $80 million and would only spend on the right deals.
Is Bryant a good enough deal to give up prospects and for the Rays to pay $18.5 million to him in 2020? I think so.
What’s under the hood?
After five Major League seasons, Bryant has slashed .284/.385/.516 with a 162 game average of 32 HRs, 92 RBI, and 8 SBs. Just 27-years-old he has a 25.1 rWAR in his career.
Bryant is an elite baseball player in almost every way. He will be out of the Rays’ price range once he hits the open market, but what about now?
Bryant is in the upper echelon of third basemen. Anthony Rendon just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract. Is Bryant worth that? Check this out:
Bryant is definitely in Rendon’s league as far as production goes. If he puts in another two solid years before free agency, most of his numbers will dwarf Rendon’s age 29 stats. At the end of his current contract, he will bee due for a huge raise, but for now, he’s grossly underpaid.
2020 Highest Hitter AAVs*
Mike Trout: $35.54 million
Anthony Rendon: $35 million
Nolan Arenado: $32.5 million
Miguel Cabrera: $31 million
Manny Machado: $30 million
Mookie Betts: $27.7 million
Yoenis Cespedes: $27.5 million
*Numbers supplied by Spotrac