The Oakland A’s have several holes as they look to find their way into the postseason. The bullpen needs work, they are in desperate need of help in the outfield, and they could use more depth on their bench. It should be a busy trade deadline for the A’s, provided that ownership is willing to spend to improve their playoff hopes.
If ownership is willing to add payroll, the Chicago Cubs have a player that could make a dramatic difference for the A’s chances. Kris Bryant is an impending free agent, is seemingly unlikely to want to remain with the Cubs, and would fill several needs for Oakland.
Kris Bryant could be missing piece for Oakland A’s
After a disappointing 2020 campaign, Bryant is back to his usual levels of production. He has a .271/.353/.502 batting line in his 329 plate appearances, hitting 16 homers and 17 doubles. For an A’s team that has struggled to score runs at times this season, Bryant would be an instant upgrade to the lineup.
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He has far more value than what he can provide with his bat. While Bryant had been known to shift between third base and left for the Cubs, he expanded his defensive versatility this season. He has made at least 14 appearances in all three outfield spots, while seeing time at first and third. As Bryant has been at least passable defensively at every position, he would also greatly improve any team’s depth.
The problem for the A’s would be his cost, both in terms of salary and prospects. Bryant will make over $6 million during the final two months of the season, more than all but five players on the A’s roster will make for the entirety of 2021.
The Cubs have also been adamant that they are not looking at a lengthy rebuilding process. They want to contend again in the short term, and could be interested in pieces that would fit that profile. While the A’s may not have top end talent in their farm system outside of Tyler Soderstrom, arms such as Grant Holmes, Daulton Jefferies, or even A.J. Puk could be of interest. It would obviously take more than one of those pitchers to facilitate a trade, but the Cubs do need pieces for the rotation moving forward.
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The Oakland A’s have several holes as they approach the trade deadline. Adding Kris Bryant may be a longshot, but he would be exactly what they need.