The fans of the Milwaukee Brewers currently have a hole in their hearts at third base. Kris Bryant could fill that hole. Hear me out.
Mike Moustakas signing with the Reds was devastating. There was no replacing Moose right away with one player. Once this happened, the Brew Crew signed several utility players for third base to one year deals with club options for 2021.
Jedd Gyorko, Ryon Healy, Brock Holt, and Eric Sogard are all great people and players. One, two, or all of them might end up being an amazing utility group in the infield for Milwaukee. They might even emerge as permanent roster spots. There is also a chance Luis Urias plays third base, but we aren’t there yet. After the 2020 season, there is a chance the Milwaukee Brewers might still need a third baseman to win their second straight World Series title. Yes, I did say that.
Currently, Jedd Gyorko has a one year, $2 million deal. Ryan Healy is one year, $1 million. Brock Holt is one year, $3.25 million. Eric Sogard is one year, $4.5 million. That means, if the Brewers don’t re-sign any of them, the Brewers will have $10.75 million in payroll to use.
Enter Kris Bryant?
Kris Bryant has one more year of arbitration in 2021 and is most likely going to be a free agent in 2022. He signed a one year, $18.6 million deal for 2020 after losing his arbitration case. Yes, that is a lot of money before even hitting the free agent market. Yes, I still believe the Brewers could sign him. For an extra $10 or so million a year, the Brewers would have an amazing third baseman for the foreseeable future.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like the Chicago Cubs. Actually, I mostly don’t like Chicago Cub fans for the most part. Their team doesn’t usually bother me anymore because Sammy Sosa and Carlos Zambrano no longer play for them.
And while I always root against them, I believe players like Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo are great players and people. I don’t even mind Jon Lester or Jason Heyward, I just don’t like playing against them. I will even admit that Javier Baez is a good player. Is he a good person? I don’t know, but people keep saying he is better than Christian Yelich, so it automatically makes me not like him very much.
There are two ways this could happen. Either the Brewers trade for him this year or next year and sign him right away, or they wait until 2022 if he doesn’t sign with the Cubs before then.
Do the Brewers have a chance to sign him?
I know what you are thinking. If the Cubs don’t sign him, a team like the Red Sox, Angels or Dodgers could sign him. That is true. But, Kris Bryant also wants another World Series ring, and also who wants to move that far??? And definitely don’t look up that he was born in Las Vegas and that playing in California would be super convenient.
Two other factors might get in the way of the Chicago Cubs signing Bryant: Anthony Rizzo and pitching. The Cubs have a giant payroll, but Anthony Rizzo’s deal is done after 2020. If they re-sign him for a new deal, one that would probably have him be a Cub for the remainder of his career, their payroll doesn’t have room for another monster contract for Bryant as well.
The Chicago Cubs usually have solid pitching, and in a few years they will need new pitchers and that won’t be cheap. There is no way they will be able to afford Rizzo, Bryant, and new starting pitchers. They could also re-build from their farm system. But, when you look at the current top 10 prospects for the Cubs, only 4 of them are pitchers.
What about payroll?
But John, the Brewers just signed Christian Yelich to a monster deal. On average, the Brewers’ payroll is between $100-120 million! They did, and yes it is. Yelich will get $26 million a year from 2022 to 2028. If the Brewers sign Bryant, let’s say, to a 6 year, $150 million deal with money on the back end, that means Yelich and Bryant together would be less than $50 million a year. John! They are a small market team! I know. But who can’t win a World Series with Christian Yelich, Kris Bryant, Keston Hiura, Luis Urias, Tyrone Taylor, and Garrett Mitchell? Exactly.
John, they need pitching! I know. Have faith in David Stearns. Stearns is a magician with signing low risk/high ceiling players, and I have no doubt he could fill a team with young players and one or two year deal pitchers with Yelich and Bryant as Brewers for the 2020s.
Is this likely?
Is there a chance this will happen? About 6%. But that 6% sounds really good. Bryant will probably be in the range of $26-28 million a year, and earning less than Yelich on the same team probably isn’t on his top priority list.
And if it doesn’t happen and the Chicago Cubs sign Kris Bryant, they will definitely not pay Anthony Rizzo, which means the Brewers have a chance to sign HIM after this season. Have you seen Justin Smoak’s current contract? It’s a one year deal for $5.5 million and a club option.
I rest my case. I would like to say “Hi!” to all of the Chicago Cubs fans who are hate-reading this article. We can all agree the Cardinals suck, right?