On a cool, rainy Thursday in Chicago, Cubs fans may have read something that might come as a surprise. Per reports originating with Andrew Baggarly, Kris Bryant is unlikely to return to the Giants this offseason. According to the report, the Giants were unimpressed with Bryant, especially defensively.
Whether or not this report is "planted" remains to be seen. However, if this is any indication of the truth, then Bryant's list of suitors dwindles by at least one team.
The 2016 NL MVP noted after his trade to San Francisco that the door isn't closed on a return to the Cubs. In fact, of all the players traded at the infamous trade deadline, Bryant appears to be the most likely to return given his emotions when being traded and later returning to Wrigley Field. Perhaps a reunion with the Cubs is in order for the former Chicago first-round selection.
Over 144 games split between Chicago and San Francisco, Bryant slashed .265/.353/.481 with 25 home runs and 73 RBIs. In addition, Bryant scored 86 runs and added 32 doubles during the campaign. Although those numbers may not warrant the super contract that many predicted he would covet, Bryant is still a high-quality player that teams would be happy to have for the foreseeable future.
Defensively, Bryant is likely never going to win a Gold Glove. However, that isn't a big deal if he is in the right place. San Francisco's outfield is massive and one of the hardest in the league to play. That very well may be a reason the Giants were unimpressed. At Wrigley Field, Bryant had minimal issues playing the outfield when he wasn't suiting up at third base.
Perhaps it is meant to be. The Cubs may have a good feeling they can bring Bryant in on a favorable contract that still allows flexibility to spend this offseason and beyond. Given that the Giants, a team believed to want to sign Bryant long-term at one point, appear to be moving on, Kris Bryant may return home to the friendly confines that are Wrigley Field.