Giants getting Kris Bryant from Cubs in MLB trade deadline blockbuster as Chicago finishes tear-down


Beating the deadline by minutes while hoping to beat back a significant challenge from their biggest rival, the San Francisco Giants acquired Chicago Cubs legend and four-time All-Star Kris Bryant on Friday, the final major chess move in a National League West race that has been taut all season.

Just minutes after the Los Angeles Dodgers finalized a deal to acquire three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer and All-Star shortstop Trea Turner, the Giants swooped in to land Bryant, the 2016 NL MVP who’s gone from a slugging third baseman to a do-everything multi-position threat.

Two baseball officials with direct knowledge of the trade confirmed to USA TODAY Sports that the Giants are acquiring Bryant. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade had not yet been announced.

Chicago will receive pitcher Caleb Kilian and outfielder Alex Canario from San Francisco, which managed to land Bryant without sacrificing any of its top prospects, such as shortstop Marco Luciano or outfielders Luis Matos and Heliot Ramos.

Giants getting Kris Bryant from Cubs in MLB trade deadline blockbuster as Chicago finishes tear-down

Bryant’s trade marks the close of a frenetic 24-hour sell-off by the Cubs, who dealt every major star and pending free agent from their 2016 World Series champions: First baseman Anthony Rizzo (Yankees), shortstop Javier Baez (Mets) and now Bryant.

Bryant’s versatility is a huge asset, having started at least 10 games at five different positions this year: all three outfield spots and the corners of the infield.

That will thrill Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, who as Dodgers GM deployed lineups with talent playing all over the field, from Kike Hernandez to Chris Taylor to Cody Bellinger.

Now, he gets a deluxe rental model in Bryant, who shook off an injury-plagued 2020 season to hit 18 home runs and produce an .861 OPS as he readies for free agency.

The Giants can immediately plug him in at third base, where the club was awaiting the return from injury of Evan Longoria; once Longoria returns, Bryant can rotate through two outfield positions and first base, as well.

The trade ends Bryant’s tenure in Chicago, a seven-season stretch that saw the Cubs make the playoffs five times and end their 108-year World Series championship drought in 2016.

Bryant was named NL Rookie of the Year in 2015 before winning the MVP award in 2016 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI, both still career-highs. The four-time All-Star was limited to 102 games in 2018 and 34 of the 60-game 2020 campaign, posting an .849 OPS in 374 games over the past four seasons.

Making $19.5 million in 2021, Bryant got off to a hot start this year, hitting .324 with a 1.016 OPS in April and May. He went 9-for-79 in June but has bounced back by starting July on a 17-for-56 (.304) run.

Bryant hit .308 in the 2016 postseason including home runs in Games 5 and 6 of the World Series as Chicago rallied back from a 3-1 deficit against Cleveland.

The Cubs took Bryant with the second overall pick in the 2013 from the University of San Diego.

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