He may not be on the radar of the Detroit Tigers. He may not be the player any of the fans are thinking the team will sign. He may not even be a true shortstop by nature. Could Kris Bryant be an answer to the Tigers’ offseason needs?
It’s clear that the Detroit Tigers are active in the free-agent market and are looking at bringing in players to fill particular needs. Versatility is always a plus and is something to consider; usually, those filler players though, like Hittin’ Harold Castro, have the versatile gene, not the star players.
But, Kris Bryant is someone that may be getting overlooked in this free-agent class. The former second overall pick in the 2013 MLB Amateur Player Draft had spent all of the last six seasons with the Chicago Cubs before being traded to the San Francisco Giants at the trade deadline in 2021.
When he was coming up as a prospect, Bryant was a shortstop and was thought to be the Cubs’ future shortstop until they opted to move him to the outfield and then ultimately third base. With players like Addison Russell and Javier Báez filling shortstop and second-base predominantly.
Bryant, seven years in the big leagues later, is a third baseman with experience playing in the outfield and first base as well. This past season, Bryant logged 93 games in the outfield, 55 at third base, 12 at first, and just one at shortstop.
The Detroit Tigers should consider a bold move with Kris Bryant.
It’s known that the Tigers will move players around positionally; it’s been done before. Could the Tigers be interested in bringing in Bryant and shifting him around? He could spend time in his normal positions but also be broken in at shortstop as an experiment to see how it goes.
Worst comes to worst, he is shifted back to an outfield position and is a solid option at third base if Jeimer Candelario ends up fizzling out and becoming someone to replace. He could even replace Candelario if the Tigers felt it was the best move for the organization.
It’s certainly a bold suggestion and not nearly the top option for the Tigers, but it indeed is an intriguing one. Do not forget, the Tigers have said they wanted to add in some outfield depth this offseason, and adding in Kris Bryant would definitely do that.
In 2021, Bryant played in 144 games between the Cubs and Giants organizations, where he slashed .265/.353/.481 with 25 home runs and 73 RBI to his credit. He’s a former Rookie of the Year (2015), Most Valuable Player (2016), World Series Champion (2016), and four-time all-star.
It’s hard to think that adding in a player like Bryant would manage to hurt the Tigers. He’s versatile, and even if it were a long-term deal, the organization would be able to find a spot for him. He’ll be 30 when the 2022 season rolls around and if the team wanted to lock up a quality veteran, considering Bryant is something to consider.
It’s bold; I get it. It’s hard to sit here and say that the Tigers would even bother trying to move Bryant to shortstop, but the prospect of signing him to a long-term contract as a fantastic veteran to have around this organization is hard not to be intrigued about.