Wednesday night was bittersweet for the Chicago Cubs as they finally ended an 11-game losing streak with a 8-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Although the bleeding stopped momentarily, the Cubs saw their best player of 2021 exit with an injury.
Third baseman Kris Bryant has been absolutely outstanding this season and, with free agency looming next year, was a prime trade candidate before this year’s deadline.
However, in the top of the fourth inning Wednesday night, Bryant was replaced by Patrick Wisdom after he experienced tightness in his hamstring. With Bryant’s injury now at the forefront, there is no telling how trade talks will (or will not) progress in the near future.
Kris Bryant will need to be healthy before the Chicago Cubs deal him at the MLB trade deadline.
Because Bryant’s contract runs out and he has the opportunity to choose his next team in 2022, any team that trades for Bryant will want him healthy for a postseason run this season. Sure, there’s always the possibility that any team trading for Bryant will have a confidence in regards to a long-term extension. But, for now, health is the primary concern.
Per Bleacher Report’s Blake Schuster, trade talks will “almost certainly” be put to a halt for right now. Until Bryant is healthy, any discussions regarding a deal will be on hold.
It is a shame for the Cubs and for Bryant, quite frankly. The Cubs have gone from a team in first place to a team that will undoubtedly sell at the deadline. Bryant is their most attractive trade asset, maybe aside from reliever Craig Kimbrel.
After a rough season in 2020, Bryant has enjoyed a resurgence in 2021. He is currently slashing .270/.351/.502 and has cranked out 16 home runs with 43 RBI in 78 games. Last year, folks were wondering if we would ever see the same NL MVP version of Bryant again.
This year, Bryant answered the bell.
Although his tenure with the Cubs will likely be up after 2021, the remainder of this year is extremely important for him. The next couple of weeks will be crucial to his future, especially considering no team will want to trade for him if he’s still remotely injured. Hamstring injuries can have a knack for lingering, so Bryant will have to hope he can recover quickly.
If the Cubs don’t see Bryant return healthy in the near future, they may miss out on getting what could be a massive haul for their prized All Star. If the Cubs can’t get anything for Bryant this year, it would be just one more notch in the belt of the Ricketts’ mishandling the roster.