CHICAGO (WGN) – In the end, one of the Cubs’ greatest homegrown players in a generation will not be with the franchise for his entire career.
Surrounded by trade rumors the past two years, the Cubs traded Kris Bryant to the Giants, reports say.
The trade follows the Cubs moving shortstop Javier Baez and starting pitcher Trevor Williams to the Mets. Earlier, the fire sale continued in the form of a crosstown swap with the Cubs sending closer Craig Kimbrel to the White Sox in exchange for second baseman Nick Madrigal and relief pitcher Codi Heuer.
The first member of the Cubs’ World Series core to be traded was Anthony Rizzo to the Yankees on Thursday.
Drafted by the Cubs with the second overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, Bryant quickly rose through the ranks of the team’s minor league system. He made his debut on April 15, 2015 at Wrigley Field and made an immediate impact on the 97-win team that snapped a seven-year playoff drought.
An All-Star that season, .275/.369/.488 with 26 homers and 99 RBI on his way to being named the National League Rookie of the Year.
In 2016, Bryant got some more hardware in a memorable campaign in which he was named the NL MVP after hitting .292/.385/.544 with 39 homers and 102 RBI. That helped the Cubs to 103 victories and their first division title in eight years, and Bryant continued to be productive in the playoffs that season.
In the playoffs he had five triples, three homers, including two in the final three games of the World Series against the Indians, while driving in eight RBI to help the Cubs to their first championship in 108 years.
Bryant would hit what so far is a career-high .297 in 2017 with 29 homers and 73 RBI as the Cubs advanced to a third-straight National League Championship Series. The next season, however, a shoulder injury plagued Bryant and limited him to 102 games as his average dipped to .272 with just 13 homers and 52 RBI.
In 2019, the third baseman bounced back with a much stronger season, making another All-Star Game as his average rebounded to .282/.382/.521 with 31 homers and 77 RBI. In the shortned 60-game 2020 campaign, Bryant hit .206/.293/.351 with four homers and 11 RBI, going hitless in eight at-bats in the NL Wild Card series against the Marlins.
This season he enjoyed a strong start as Bryant hit over .300 in both April and May before slipping to .114 in the month of June. This July, things have been better, with the third baseman hitting .290 with three homers and ten RBI.