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Sport 3 teams that should start thinking about signing Kris Bryant

03:25  01 august  2021
03:25  01 august  2021 Source:   fansided.com

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Kris Bryant will have plenty of suitors during his high-profile free agency this offseason.

a close up of a baseball player holding a bat © Provided by Fansided

It came down to the wire, but Kris Bryant was traded to the San Francisco Giants at the deadline.

Bryant had spent his entire professional career in the Chicago Cubs organization. He was a four-time NL All-Star on the North Side of Chicago, winning NL Rookie of the Year in 2015, NL MVP in 2016 and most importantly, made the final assist to help the Cubs win Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. While he plays the rest of 2021 in the Bay Area, his free agency will be utterly fascinating.

What teams could be in the mix to sign Bryant ahead of his age-30 season during free agency?

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Kris Bryant: 3 MLB teams who should think about signing him in his free agency

Of course, Bryant would welcome a return to Wrigley Field if the money is right

No doubt Bryant got emotional about being traded at the deadline. He has so many great memories playing for the Cubs. However, the team's overall finances and downturn of late largely contributed to the biggest Chicago fire … sale we have ever seen. Ownership says it would be open to bringing back any of its former stars, but one has to think Bryant is more likely than others.

At the start of the season, Bryant was essentially a guarantee to walk in his free agency, with first baseman Anthony Rizzo likely heading back to the Cubs on a new contract and shortstop Javy Baez being somewhere around a 50-50 proposition. Now that Baez and Rizzo are in New York, we have to wonder if Bryant is now the most likely former Cubs star to return to them on a new deal.

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The only thing we know is closer Craig Kimbrel is not coming back, as he pushes for a World Series trip on the South Side. Given that Bryant was playing at an MVP-level in May, as well as displaying great defensive versatility, he might be the most valuable player the Cubs could potentially bring back. It seems like a bit of a long shot at this point, but we can't cross off Chicago entirely just yet.

There is a chance either Bryant or Rizzo returns to Chicago on a new deal, but absolutely not both.

San Francisco has a half-season head start toward re-signing Bryant

This has been a great season for the Giants up to this point. After narrowly missing out on the postseason in an expanded field a year ago, the Giants are in the mix to be one of potentially three teams to be playing in October out of the NL West. While their pitching staff has been at the forefront, there is no denying the impact adding an everyday player like Bryant will do for them.

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Bryant is going to play third base and hit somewhere in the top half of their batting order every night. The question is what are the Giants going to do with Evan Longoria once he comes back from injury. The former Tampa Bay Rays star is a shell of himself in his mid-30s. He may be on the 60-day IL with a shoulder issue, but he is not hitting free agency again until the 2023 offseason.

By bringing back Bryant on a multi-year deal, it would signify to the rest of the National League that the Giants are here to stay. We have seen two of their division rivals stockpile weapons in the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres. If the Giants want to contend in the West Coast arms race, making sure Bryant's heart is still in San Francisco by his 30th birthday is paramount.

San Francisco has a leg up here, but the Giants will face stiff competition during winter meetings.

The New York Mets were in the mix to trade for Bryant all season long

Now, this would be something. The New York Mets did make a big splash during the deadline by trading for Bryant's former Cubs teammate in Baez. The idea behind this trade is that Baez will play second, or potentially third, with Jeff McNeil manning the other spot. Obviously, Francisco Lindor will be at short and Pete Alonso at first in what should make for one hell of a Mets starting infield.

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But what if Baez walks in his free agency? That would re-open the possibility of Bryant going to the Mets, a team he had been tied to all throughout the trading process. New York has all the money in the world to get a star player like Bryant. He would ensure the Mets were strong at both corner infielder spots going forward. Again, his arrival is all about letting Baez walk in free agency.

Until Austin Riley emerged at third base for the Atlanta Braves, the Mets' rivals were a potential landing spot for Bryant as well. Now that Riley is well on his way to becoming the next Chipper Jones or Scott Rolen, New York cannot let third base be a weakness heading into free agency. No way. While it is a bit of a reach at this point, we have to wonder if Bryant is destined for Queens.

Overall, Bryant will have a robust market entering his high-profile free agency. He his hit well at the plate this year and has improved his valued based on all sorts of places he can play in the field now. While there are other teams who could be interested in signing him to a long-term deal, we have to believe teams like the Cubs, Giants and Mets are right at the top of the list to land him.

What other teams should be thinking about how Bryant can make their team better in 2022?

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