Nationals

SEE IT: Fan design of Kris Bryant in a Nationals uniform

Nationals

Once again, it did not take long for Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant to be connected to the Nationals as the offseason hot stove begins.

Bryant has consistently come up in trade talks in recent years, and those reports have surfaced in 2020 as well. With the Cubs trying to determine the direction of the franchise after a disappointing end to 2020 and Washington in need of help at third base, there's logic to the match.

Whether something actually comes out of it this time around is yet to be seen, but that won't stop some Nationals fans from latching onto the idea. That, of course, includes photoshops of what Bryant may look like in some new threads, which comes from Twitter user @izzyrendell.

It's hard to deny that Bryant would look good rocking the Curly W, as the red compliments him well.

While the jersey mock is a success, justifying a trade isn't as simple. Bryant is coming off his worst season as a pro in the 2020 shortened campaign. Dealing with multiple injuries, he had just a .644 OPS in 34 games. Still, there is plenty of upside for the 28-year-old.

Rookie of the Year in 2015 and NL MVP in 2016, Bryant's success is skewed by a near-perfect start to his career. Though 2018 was a down year, he performed well in 2017 and was an All-Star in 2019. When healthy, Bryant remains one of the top hitters in baseball.

Defensively, his versatility is an enormous advantage for teams. Continuing to grow at third base, he also has close to 200 games of experience patrolling the outfield. That could allow Washington to find innovative ways to keep him in the lineup at all times.

 

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Even with that, acquiring Bryant for the 2021 season may not make a lot of sense given his current contract standing. Set to be a free agent after the season, Washington would pay the third baseman nearly $20 million for just one year of control. Bryant would also command a hefty haul in return, even with his down year in 2020. So, Washington would be risking the farm system for one season of a player that may move on after 2021.