On the MLB Trade Deadline market, Chicago Cubs star third baseman/left fielder/center fielder, where ever you need him, Kris Bryant is among the most sought after targets.

And while teams like the New York Mets have consistently been linked to Bryant, a new suitor has emerged in the Tampa Bay Rays.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the Rays “have had preliminary discussions about both Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer and Chicago Cubs third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant,” citing league sources.

For the Rays, this could be a short-term rental for a team looking to return to the World Series for a second consecutive season and hopefully win a championship. For Bryant, it’d be an opportunity to win a second World Series to complement the 2016 ring he won with the Cubs.

Bryant is set to become a free agent at the end of the season and the Rays historically operate and succeed on a tiny payroll, suggesting the Rays wouldn’t be looking to sign Bryant long-term to the massive contract he’d command.

The Cubs could retain some of Bryant’s salary for the remainder of the 2021 season to net one of the Rays higher ranked prospects in return.

The Cubs have already traded left fielder Joc Pederson and reliever Andrew Chafin.

And Passan says “the expectation is that Bryant and [Craig] Kimbrel will almost certainly be moved and [Anthony] Rizzo could go, too.”

Rizzo noted “this could be it” for the Cubs’ championship core.

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