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Javier Báez, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo: Which one would you bring back to the Cubs?

A thought exercise.

Photo by Cooper Neill/MLB via Getty Images

Javier Báez. Kris Bryant. Anthony Rizzo.

They’re all ex-Cubs now, traded away a little over a week ago at the 2021 trading deadline.

Despite a little bit of negative back-and-forth, mostly on sports talk radio, all three players have indicated that they have left the door open to return to the Cubs, and President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer has done the same.

So I’m going to ask you this question, and remember this is just a thought exercise, not necessarily something the Cubs actually would do, or should do.

Let’s say you were in Hoyer’s position and you had the payroll room available to sign one — but ONLY one — of those three players, and you definitely do want ONE of them back. Which one would you choose?

My choice? Kris Bryant.


Of the three, I think Bryant’s skillset is the most likely to still be useful when he’s in his late 30s. Though he has had some injury issues, many of them seem one-offs, not chronic like Rizzo’s back problems. Rizzo is also the oldest of the three at 32. Bryant can play multiple positions, and play them well — and interviewed at the All-Star Game, Bryant said he’d choose center field if he had to choose just one spot:

As for Báez, the skills that thrill us most — his great tag plays and “swim moves” sliding — are likely due to fast-twitch muscle fibers and those are the most likely to decline quickly as Báez ages, in my opinion.

So to give a multi-year deal to any of those three players involves some risk, but if I had to guess at which one will still be playing regularly at age 37 or 38, it’d be Bryant.

Remember, this is just a thought exercise. Who’s your choice?


If you could sign only ONE of Javier Báez, Kris Bryant or Anthony Rizzo, who would you choose?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Javier Báez
    (177 votes)
  • 58%
    Kris Bryant
    (709 votes)
  • 26%
    Anthony Rizzo
    (321 votes)
1207 votes total Vote Now