Sorry, Nationals fans. You’re not getting Kris Bryant this offseason.
The Washington Nationals downgraded massively at third base, as Carter Kieboom’s inability to replace Anthony Rendon’s production is one of the main reasons the Nats’ championship defense was so poor last season. While the Nationals have frequently been mentioned as a landing spot for Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant after a down year on the North Side, Washington’s front office has put the kibosh on any potential move for the former MVP.
Per ESPN, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo tried his best to put the Bryant rumors to bed, claiming that the organization hasn’t had a serious discussion about him in years while telling Nationals fans that he wants to “allocate our dollars and prospect capital in another way.”
Kris Bryant is looking to bounce back after a terrible 2020 season
Bryant is a former MVP that has remained a cornerstone of the Cubs lineup for years, which made his .206 average, four home runs, and 73 OPS+ even more shocking. If the Cubs are going to trade Bryant away, even after such a down season, they should hope for a better return than Starlin Castro.
The Nationals are in a weird position, as their roster is very top-heavy and their farm system has been depleted from years of win-now trades. While Bryant might make sense from a pure baseball standpoint, Washington’s finances and prospect stockpile might prevent them from consummating a deal with Chicago.
Bryant will still attract suitors in the rumor mill, as a relatively young star with his power and championship experience is likely not going to put up a second season with such poor numbers. However, Washington can likely be crossed off of the list of destinations due to Rizzo’s uncertainty about sending away the farm in exchange for him.