Kris Byrant trade: Giants acquire Cubs star at 2021 MLB trade deadline

The Cubs and Giants have reportedly agreed to a trade that will send third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant to San Francisco, according to CBS Sports HQ’s Jim Bowden. Bryant, 29, will qualify for free agency at season’s end. 

He’s bounced back from a disappointing 2020 by hitting .267/.358/.503 (133 OPS+) with 18 home runs and four stolen bases (on six tries) in his first 93 contests this season. Bryant is, of course, a versatile defender capable of playing either infield corner as well as all three outfield positions. Here’s what CBS Sports wrote when we ranked Bryant as the summer’s top trade candidate:

In addition to being a fantastic hitter, Bryant is a versatile defender who can play each corner spot; heck, he’s even spent time in center field this year. He also carries himself the way the face of the franchise should. Bryant is the total package, in other words, and he’s going to be a welcome addition to someone’s lineup and clubhouse heading into August.

Bryant’s Cubs legacy will be a complicated one, though not for on-the-field purposes and not for his own doing. He made good on being the No. 2 pick in the 2013 draft by winning the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player Awards within his first two seasons. Bryant also made four All-Star Games and he helped the Cubs end their championship drought in 2016. 

Yet it’s impossible to tell Bryant’s story in Chicago without noting that the Cubs manipulated his service time at the start of his big-league career, leaving him a single day short of qualifying for free agency a winter earlier. A grievance filed on his behalf didn’t correct the wrong; it did, however, fuel years of speculation that he was on his way out of town.

Now, Bryant is indeed on his way elsewhere. As for the Cubs, they’re embarking on their first rebuild since the one that saw them draft Bryant, who served as their face of the franchise during some of the team’s happiest moments. They also sent first baseman Anthony Rizzo to the Yankees on Thursday and closer Craig Kimbrel to the White Sox on Friday.

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