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Would you trade Kris Bryant straight up for Nolan Arenado?

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There’s a rumor flying that the Cubs and Rockies just might do this.

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Now that Kris Bryant’s service-time grievance has been resolved in favor of the Cubs, you might expect KB trade rumors to start flying.

Like this one:

During an appearance on NBC Sports Chicago’s David Kaplan’s “Kap and Co.” Wednesday, ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reported the Cubs and Rockies have discussed a 1-for-1 deal involving Bryant and Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado. Rogers added Colorado would pick up salary in such a deal.

Well.

Much as I like Kris Bryant, I would make this deal in a heartbeat. Nolan Arenado is a much better defensive third baseman. Further, although you have to make some sort of adjustment to Arenado’s numbers because of Coors Field, using baseball-reference’s park-neutralizing tool, those numbers still look pretty good (adjusting them to Wrigley Field 2019 park factors — click on the link below the table for more):

Baseball Reference

Arenado is owed $234 million and is signed for the next seven (!) seasons, through 2026 (though there is an opt-out after 2021). His deal calls for him to be paid $35 million this year. Strictly guessing here: The money kicked in by the Rockies to the Cubs for such a trade would likely pay the difference between that and Bryant’s $18.6 million for 2020. After 2020, presumably the Cubs could pick up the balance of the contract and the Rockies could then try to sign Bryant to a long-term extension.

Arenado is about nine months older than Bryant, so age is not a factor here. As I mentioned above, Arenado is a much better fielder — he has won seven consecutive Gold Gloves.

This is the kind of trade fans and writers used to call a “challenge trade” — your best player for another team’s. It happened from time to time decades ago; perhaps the most famous one was when the Indians traded the 1959 HR champion (Rocky Colavito) for the 1959 BA champion (Harvey Kuenn). The two finished fourth and eighth in AL MVP voting that year, but it didn’t work out well for either club.

But if the rumored Bryant-for-Arenado trade really is a thing, I hope the Cubs pull the trigger on it — now.

Poll

Kris Bryant for Nolan Arenado, 1-for-1 trade with money coming to the Cubs...

This poll is closed

  • 78%
    Awesome! Get it done!
    (1625 votes)
  • 21%
    Nope. Keep KB
    (455 votes)
2080 votes total Vote Now