Kris Bryant trade talks between Cubs and Nationals ‘have gone nowhere'


The Nationals reportedly love Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, but trade talks between the clubs “have gone nowhere,” according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

Bryant’s name has frequented rumors this winter, with the Braves, Nationals, Phillies and Rangers being linked to him at one point or another. A trade has never been a foregone conclusion, as the Cubs aren’t going to move the star third baseman for anything less than what they deem to be fair value.

The Cubs have requested Nationals center fielder Victor Robles in Bryant trade talks, per multiple reports, but Washington has been reluctant to include him. Robles is less established in the big leagues, but he’s under team control through 2024.

Meanwhile, Bryant’s unresolved service time grievance is an elephant in the metaphorical negotiating room. If Bryant loses, he’ll remain under team control through 2021; if he wins, he’ll hit free agency after next season. The Cubs would net more for him in a trade if he has two years of control remaining rather than one.

Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported on Dec. 20 a decision on Bryant’s grievance would come in the new year. It’s possible trade talks have gone nowhere because the Nationals are awaiting the results of the grievance. It's also possible the Cubs' asking price for Bryant is too high for Washington, who has other third base options in reportedly-signed infielders Starlin Castro and Asdrubal Cabrera

Furthermore, the Nationals — among others — have been linked to star free agent third baseman Josh Donaldson. Donaldson coming off the market will make Bryant's trade market much clearer, as teams looking for a third base upgrade could look to the latter to fill that need.

Bryant's grievance case is the ultimate roadblock to any potential deal. The sooner that situation is resolved, the sooner we'll have more clarity on the situation. But as things currently stand, one team appears to be a less likely destination than others, should Bryant be traded.

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