Kris Bryant won’t sign with the St. Louis Cardinals this offseason — and here are the reasons why.
The idea, at least in theory, sounds good. Kris Bryant would be a very good fit for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Bryant, 29, would be a versatile defensive piece. The Cardinals could deploy him in the outfield or outfield and let them rest key players or put them in the designated hitter role to keep them fresh during the 162-game season. That’s not to mention his offensive prowess, where he has hit .278/.376/.504 with 167 home runs and 487 RBI in seven career seasons.
He would help any team. But Bryant will not end up in St. Louis for a number of reasons.
First, the price. Bryant is going to command a lucrative contract in free agency, with MLB Trade Rumors predicting that he signs a five-year, $160 million deal. The Cardinals were out on the premium free-agent shortstops for two reasons: 1) their belief in Paul DeJong and 2) the price it will take to sign them, with each set to make at least $20+ million per season over long-term commitments.
If they’re unlikely to spend that kind of money on any of the shortstops, they surely won’t do it on Bryant, who teams have questions about after the Giants were reportedly unimpressed with his defense in the infield and outfield, with The Athletic believing that his “swing won’t age well.”
Besides, the Cardinals already have two big contracts on offense in Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt. It is unlikely they’ll want to add a third to the payroll as they look to build a sustainable contending team. If they are going to spend meaningful dollars anywhere, it’s going to be the bullpen, a position they are likely to add 1-2 pieces once the lockout is over.
Perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe the Cardinals will shock the world and sign Bryant. Our friends at FanSided put together a piece on why they should do it, and even they expressed doubts on the likelihood of it happening.
But don’t get your hopes up. A Bryant to St. Louis scenario feels like a pipedream — and even that feels overly optimistic.