Bryant by Bay? Giants, Cubs talking (source)

July 28th, 2021

With the Trade Deadline just three days away, the Giants have talked with the Cubs about star third baseman/outfielder , sources told's Jon Paul Morosi on Tuesday. Morosi adds that for its side, Chicago is looking at San Francisco's No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline (and No. 17 overall), catcher .

The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly downplayed that report later, however, with sources telling him that the Giants "are backing off" trade proposals centered around Bart.

It would stand to reason, as Morosi notes, that the Giants would need more than just Bryant in such a deal, since the former National League MVP is scheduled to be a free agent at the end of this season. But Bryant's slugging and defensive versatility would certainly be attractive to San Francisco, a club that has been the surprise of baseball so far in 2021, entering play Wednesday with the best winning percentage (.630) in the Majors and a three-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West.

Bryant is having a strong season at the plate for Chicago after an injury-plagued 2020 campaign -- entering Tuesday, the 29-year-old was hitting .269/.356/.500 with 17 home runs. Bart, meanwhile, entered the day hitting .310/.372/.532 with nine homers in 44 games for Triple-A Sacramento. Long seen by the Giants as the heir apparent to Buster Posey behind the plate, it may take a pretty big offer to pry Bart away from the organization that drafted him No. 2 overall in 2018.

The Cubs, who have fallen out of contention in the NL Central, have been rumored to be ready to part with multiple marquee players that helped them break a 108-year World Series title drought in 2016, including Anthony Rizzo and Javier Báez. All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel, who entered play Tuesday with a microscopic 0.49 ERA and 23 saves for Chicago in 2021, may also be available. Unlike Bryant, Rizzo and Báez, Kimbrel is under team control through '22 ($16 million club option).

It remains to be seen whether a deal will be struck between the Cubs and Giants, as well as what players may be involved, but if an agreement is reached, it will likely be a blockbuster that will have significant implications for the NL West race. That division is coming down to a three-team competition between the Giants, Dodgers and Padres. Los Angeles has won the NL West in each of the past eight seasons, with San Francisco and San Diego bidding to dethrone the World Series champions.