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Free Agent Poll: Kris Bryant

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Division Series - San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Four Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

We used this idea last year. The idea is to go through some of the top free agents, use the contract FanGraphs suggests they will get and have a poll asking if we would like to sign him for that amount.

Kris Bryant is number 6 on Fangraphs’ list and also number 6 on Keith Law’s list. I’m skipping Freddie Freeman. As much as I like him, I don’t see a place for him on the team. He’s a first baseman only and not exactly a great defensive one at that. I don’t see us moving Vlad off first, he seems happy at the position, and he’s good there. And I don’t see us spending a lot of money on a DH.

Bryant does a bit of everything. He has power, takes walks, steals the odd base and can play third or any outfield spot or first base. He even had a couple of innings at short this year.

He turns 30 in January, so he will likely be looking to get that last colossal contract.

Law said:

Outside of his injury-shortened, pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Bryant has been a consistently above-average regular since 2017, his second of two consecutive years with wRC+ figures of 147 or better; in 2018, 2019 and 2021, his wRC+ was between 123 and 134, comfortably above average but not star level for the positions he plays. He’s primarily a corner guy who can play average defense at third or first and below-average defense in left, as well as the ability to play center in a pinch, but as he ages, he is probably going to be best suited to the infield. Bryant has had a hard time shaking the tag of a disappointment because the player he was at ages 24-25 is gone; he hasn’t reached his career highs of 94 walks (2017) or 39 homers (2016) since, but that’s just not who he is as a hitter now. He always has been an excellent fastball hitter, using his strong eye to try to get into more fastball counts, but pitchers just throw him more off-speed stuff now — which is a trend in baseball in general, too — and I think that’s the main reason he has settled into a lower gear than his MVP season.

Ben:

If you’re under the age of 50, you probably don’t actually own a Swiss Army knife. You likely know what they are, though: a metal interpretation of Kris Bryant. He slices! He dices! He corkscrews! He takes walks! He hits for power! It’s a solidly above-average offensive profile, and he does it while playing wherever you need him to in the field.

Bryant struggled defensively after his trade to the Giants, but I’m not particularly worried about that. Right field in San Francisco is bizarre. It’s somehow both expansive and cozy, and you might be sprinting headlong into the power alleys or playing a ball on the ricochet off the tall outfield wall — or sometimes both on the same play. Bryant was above average in left and center — and per OAA, somehow four outs below average in only 67 innings in right field.

Ben figures Bryant will be getting 8 years (really?) at $25 million a year, for a total of $200 million. I don’t think I could sign him for 8 years, but who knows. I think he’ll be ok at third for the next few years but at 36 or 37 years old? By then, I think he’d have to DH.

Poll

Should the Jays sign Kris Bryant if the price is 8 years at $25 per year?

  • 9%
    Yes, absolutely
    (78 votes)
  • 8%
    Probably, but I’m not enthusiastic about it
    (73 votes)
  • 22%
    Probably not, but I wouldn’t hate it
    (190 votes)
  • 59%
    No, absolutely not
    (497 votes)
838 votes total Vote Now