Bryant open to re-signing with Cubs if traded before deadline
“Oh yeah, absolutely,” Bryant said, according to Patrick Mooney of The Athletic. “Like I’ve said, I love this place. It’s all I’ve known. The familiarity of being here and this city and the people make it a lot easier to say, ‘Yeah, of course, I’d love to play here.’”
The 29-year-old is expected to be one of the most sought-after players leading up to the deadline and during free agency this winter. The Tampa Bay Rays have reportedly shown interest in the four-time All-Star, and the San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, New York Yankees, and Chicago White Sox are among the teams with scouts at Wrigley Field during the Cubs' current homestand, Mooney notes.
Additionally, the San Francisco Giants have spoken with the Cubs about possibly acquiring Bryant, and Chicago has been evaluating top catching prospect Joey Bart, sources told Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
However, the Giants aren't willing to include Bart in a deal for Bryant, a source told Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area.
Bryant, the 2016 NL MVP and 2015 Rookie of the Year, is enjoying a bounce-back season while hitting .269/.356/.500 with 17 home runs and 50 RBIs over 91 games entering play Tuesday. And after a month-long slump in June when he hit .114, the veteran has rebounded in July with a .900 OPS over 18 games.
His tenure with the Cubs hasn't always gone smoothly. He rose through the minors with significant hype after being selected second overall in 2013. The Cubs didn't promote him to the majors after his dominance during spring training and at Triple-A during the first two weeks of the 2015 season, resulting in Bryant filing a service-time grievance against the club that he lost.
For now, Bryant knows nothing is certain, though he wants to stay or return.
"It would be cool to play here my whole career," Bryant said. "But like I’ve said, I don’t really control that. Front offices have their agenda and what they want to do. Owners know what they want to do moving forward. I don’t know where I fit into those plans. But we’ll find out either today or a couple days or two months from now.”
If the Cubs do trade their superstar third baseman/outfielder and later bring him back, it would be similar to Chicago trading for closer Aroldis Chapman, only for him to re-sign with his former team, the Yankees, the following winter.