Is Bryant’s defensive profile a fit for the Mets?
Kris Bryant is a third baseman…kind of. Bryant mostly plays third base for the Cubs but over the last few years, the Cubs have been playing Bryant in the outfield in addition to third base.
The question is why the change of position even in a part-time role?
I asked myself this same question and in looking at Bryant’s defensive statistics it became more clear.
Bryant has a career .950 fielding percentage at third base which is not the greatest. For context, Bryant’s fielding percentage would rank 156 all-time among third basemen. Not to pile on but for comparison players like Kyle Seager, Justin Turner, and even Todd Frazier, yes Todd Frazier have a higher career fielding percentage than Bryant.
Additionally, Bryant has -14 defensive runs saved (DRS) at third base in his career and he has +6 DRS in the outfield in his career. The question becomes what is his long-term position? Is it third base or is it the outfield?
If his long-term position is a corner outfield position, then the Mets should have zero interest in trading for Bryant even with his offensive potential. The Mets have Michael Conforto in right field hopefully for the next decade and most likely Brandon Nimmo in left field. They do not have a spot for Bryant in the outfield.
If his long-term position is third base then Bryant makes more sense to trade for but his price tag will be dependent on which offensive version of Kris Bryant you are getting.
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The way I would approach a possible trade for Kris Bryant is if the Mets miss out on Francisco Lindor and Nolan Arenado then the Mets should inquire about Bryant but I believe there are better fits for the Mets on the trade market at the moment than Kris Bryant.