The New York Mets reportedly have scouts in attendance for Saturday’s Diamondbacks-Cubs game to watch All-Star Kris Bryant.
As the July 30 trade deadline looms closer, the watch on Cubs All-Star Kris Bryant grows bigger with every passing minute.
Among the teams many believe are most likely to make a move on the former NL MVP are the Mets, and MLB Insider Jon Heyman reports New York has dispatched their personnel to get an in-person look on Bryant and others.
While this doesn’t necessarily mean a guaranteed deal is set to go down on Saturday, it’s still something worth keeping an eye on. Of the position players named by Heyman, Bryant is likely the most sought after given his offensive performance and legitimate versatility as a third baseman and outfielder.
Despite a month of June which he posted a .114 batting average and .445 OPS, Bryant has still managed a respectable slash line of .262/.349/.485 with 16 home runs and 48 RBIs in 352 plate appearances this season.
The Mets could buy low on Cubs All-Star Kris Bryant
Unfortunately for the Cubs, Bryant’s value may have dipped after hitting another cold streak over the previous 28 days. In his last 63 plate appearances in that span, Bryant is slashing .214/.302/.321 with just one homer and seven RBIs.
Those continued numbers aren’t going to make a team like the Mets unload their best assets nor is the rental status attached to Bryant. The 29-year-old will earn $19.5 million in 2021 and is preparing to hit the free-agent market this offseason with super-agent Scott Boras.
Depending on whether on which team takes on the bulk of Bryant’s remaining deal will have a large impact on what the return package which would presumably be prospects or a player(s) with multiple years of team control.
Another interesting factor to keep an eye on is the health status of Bryant. He’s dealt with nagging injuries over the past few seasons with the latest being “hamstring fatigue” which resulted in manager David Ross pulling him from a game against the Cardinals on Tuesday.
Bryant has returned to the lineup in the past two games for Chicago including Saturday.
Could it be Cubs front office playing it safe? Definitely, but Bryant’s health history in his career could have an impact on what a team is willing to give up as well as his overall production if he truly is dealing with another injury. Landing on the 10-day IL in the next few days would dimmish any current trade value.
All of the factors are lining up for the Mets to potentially buy low on Bryant for a high reward towards a playoff push.