Remember when Alec Bohm for Kris Bryant was a Phillies trade rumor?
Do you remember when this was actually a Phillies trading rumor? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Do you remember when Kris Bryant was a real trading idea for Alec Bohm in the baseball world?
That was only eight months ago.
Right now, it would be a lot uglier if the Phillies took this step for Bryant, a longtime friend of Harper's and Las Vegas roommate. Bryant had his worst season in 2020 while Bohm scored .338 and possibly won NL Rookie of the Year.
It was only two months, but in those two months Bohm exhibited an engaging and sustained skill set as the bewildering downward trend of Bryant's career continued.
Bryant was the 2015 NL Rookie of the Year and the 2016 MVP. In his first three major seasons, he reached .288 / .388 / .527, averaging 34 homers and 97 RBI per 162 games.
In his last three seasons, Bryant has hit .269 / .369 / .478, averaging 28 homers and 81 RBI per 162 games. A nearly 50 point drop in hitting for someone billed as a power hitter.
That season, Bryant hit .206 with an OPS of .644. Böhm had twice as many hits as Bryant.
Back in February, the Cubs and Bryant went into arbitration to see if he'd win an extra year of service in 2015 for Chicago's unequivocal roster manipulation. That year, Bryant was ready to end spring training, but the Cubs delayed his training retrieval until a day after the cutoff. Had he been called up earlier, he would have had a full year of service in 2015 and would have reached the free agency this winter, unlike the next.
The Phillies acted much like Spencer Howard this summer, waiting to call him until they could earn the extra year of club control. Right or wrong, it's the current rule, and every team does.
Bryant and the Cubs have reportedly failed to come to common ground in extension talks. He will be a free agent after 2021.
As early as February, Harper had assessed the situation as a forward-looking general manager would.
"I mean, you have to have certain people on your team who are making less money in order to have people who are making more money," he said. "Kris, of course you want an all-star player, but we have (Alec) Bohm. We have a great third baseman and we got him into the draft.
"Every time you can add an all-star player, you want to add an all-star player. But you need to know that you've developed a player in the small leagues who can do it too." Help you on the third base, and Bohm could be the guy for us. He could show up and be one of the top third bases in the second half or whatever it is.
"I can't give up Spencer Howard and Bohm and possibly give up our whole future KB for a year and a half if we don't sign him for an extension. And I know there's a guy in there I think it would help us find a man like that JT [Realmuto] for the next six years. "
Bohm will make about $ 500,000 in 2021. Bryant will make about $ 20 million - 40 times more.
The Phillies haven't worked out this Realmuto expansion yet and will have to outbid other teams in the free agency to keep it.
The Cubs are also facing an uncertain off-season. They were swept by the Marlins in the first round of the playoffs. Their offense was stale and ineffective for most of the season. Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez hit a combined .210. The Cubs finished in the bottom third in runs, beating the average, and beating. Shaking up offensively seems to be the way to go. Much like the 2008 Phillies, the 2016 Cubs seemed able to win multiple World Series before reality got in the way.
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