This story is in progress and will be updated.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan was first to report the move.
Bryant to SF, source tells, ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 30, 2021
In return, the Giants are sending 24-year old right-handed pitching prospect Caleb Kilian and 21-year old outfielder prospect Alexander Canario.
Cubs receive OF Alexander Canario (No. 9 SF prospect per @MLBPipeline) and RHP Caleb Killian (No. 30) from the Giants for Kris Bryant, per source.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 30, 2021
Kilian wasn’t on many people’s radars at the start of the year, but has had a brilliant season, quickly earning a promotion to AA and putting up a 2.43 ERA and 2.38 FIP there, with 64 strikeouts to 8 walks in 63 innings.
Canario has been a strong prospect for a while, but was always the most likely prospect to be traded. He’s already on the 40-man roster (due to Rule 5 protections), but is still in Low-A, where he’s hitting below league-average. For a team that values roster flexibility as much as the Giants do, it makes sense to trade a player taking up a spot on the 40-man roster who won’t be in the Majors until 2023 or 2024.
As for Bryant, he is having an exceptional year, hitting .267/.358/.503, with a .861 OPS, a 133 OPS+, a 132 wRC+, and 18 home runs. He’s been worth 2.8 Wins Above Replacement per Fangraphs, and 2.1 per Baseball-Reference. But the Cubs have fallen out of the playoff race and have opted to trade some of their best players, sending Anthony Rizzo to the New York Yankees, Javier Báez to the New York Mets, and Craig Kimbrel to the Chicago White Sox.
This is the final year before free agency for Bryant, a 29 year old, so it always seemed likely that the Cubs would trade him.
Bryant broke into the league primarily as a third baseman, and that’s where he’ll spend the bulk of his time until Evan Longoria returns from the Injured List. Once Longo is back, we’ll probably see Bryant everywhere — he’s played first base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions this year. He’s not an elite defender, but he’s good enough to hold it down anywhere on the diamond, which fits perfectly with the versatile roster construction that the Giants love.
He’s a dominant hitter against lefties, but also comfortable above-average against righties, so he can play every day. And he looks relieved and excited to be heading to a contending team.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres made big deadline moves to improve as they chase the Giants in the NL West, which had some Giants fans feeling antsy. Well, here’s their response. The Giants reloaded with a star, and didn’t have to part with Marco Luciano, Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos, Luis Matos, or Kyle Harrison.