MLB Trade Deadline: Cubs Trade 2016 NL MVP Kris Bryant To Giants For Two Prospects
CHICAGO (CBS) -- Five years after the Cubs finally ended their century-long World Series drought, the team has now all but completely dismantled that star-studded squad, sending 2016 National League MVP Kris Bryant to the San Francisco Giants, after earlier shipping off first baseman Anthony Rizzo and shortstop Javy Baez in separate deals
The Cubs are getting two top prospects from the Giants: outfielder Alexander Canario (ranked San Francisco's No. 9 prospect) and pitcher Caleb Kilian (ranked No. 30).
Bryant's departure leaves only catcher Willson Contreras, outfielder Jason Heyward, and starting pitchers Kyle Hendricks and Jake Arrieta as players from the 2016 World Series team still on the Cubs' roster, although Arrieta spent three seasons in Philadelphia from 2018 to 2020 before returning to the Cubs this year. Manager David Ross was the team's backup catcher in 2016, his final season as a player.
The 2015 NL Rookie of the Year, Bryant is also a four-time All-Star, and was the National League MVP during the 2016 World Series title run.
Bryant has 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.
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.
Canario, 21, has hit .235 (56-for-238) with 14 doubles, three triples, nine home runs and 29 RBI in 65 games for Single-A San Jose this season.
Kilian, 24, was selected by the Giants in the eighth round of the 2019 draft out of Texas Tech University and this season is 6-2 with a 2.13 ERA (20 ER/84.2 IP) in 15 starts between Single-A Eugene and Double-A Richmond. He has walked nine and struck out 96 in 84.2 innings, good for an average of 10.2 strikeouts per 9.0 innings.
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