The 2021 MLB regular season is more than halfway complete and we're now into the dog days of summer. The 60-game sprint was fun in its own way last year given the circumstances. Give me the full 162-game experience every day of the week though.
Throughout the season the CBS Sports MLB scribes will bring you a weekly roundtable breaking down, well, pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last time we previewed the Home Run Derby. This week we're going to look ahead to next week's trade deadline.
Who will be the biggest name traded at the deadline?
R.J. Anderson: I think it has to be Kris Bryant or Trevor Story based on what we know now, and based on how Max Scherzer may or may not get moved based on how the Lerners have operated in the past. Of those, you can argue Bryant is the "bigger name" in the sense that he's spent his entire career in Chicago and has had more meaningful postseason exposure. Either way, they're both good players.
Matt Snyder: While I don't think the Cubs sell all their big names, I do think Craig Kimbrel and Kris Bryant are gone. I also agree that Trevor Story is going to go, so I guess it's between those three and which one we believe is the biggest name. It's probably Bryant, given that he was the MVP the year the Cubs won the World Series. He's only still on the team thanks to the Cubs manipulating his service time in 2015. Of course, he's also raised his value this season after a dreadful and injury-riddled 2020. The biggest thing about Bryant this year is he's shown the ability to play capable defense even in center field, so now you're looking at a guy who can play third, all three outfield spots and first. That's gotta be enticing to lots of teams looking for an impact bat.
Katherine Acquavella: If I have to pick, I'll go with Kris Bryant. All signs point to the Cubs staying true to their refusal to extend key core players, and when you pair that with the fact that Bryant's versatility is going to be hugely sought after, a trade seems extremely likely. The Giants and Mets are clubs that could certainly benefit from the depth Bryant could add to an outfield and/or at first and third base. An MVP and four-time All-Star who also happens to be having a solid 2021 so far (.264/.346/.489), he'll be an upgrade for any team in the league. There's a decent amount of other big names (Max Scherzer, Joey Gallo, Nelson Cruz) floating in the trade deadline rumor mill, but Bryant seems like the biggest name to move later this month.
Dayn Perry: I'll say Bryant. I'm not confident the Rockies will trade Story (not that he's necessarily a bigger name than Bryant), and I think Max Scherzer stays put. So Bryant it is. I think Joey Gallo will be the most productive player to date to be traded, but I think Bryant will be the biggest name. He's bounced back nicely, and his defensive flexibility expands the market for his services. As well, the Cubs seem hellbent on tearing it down.
Mike Axisa: "Biggest name" is subjective and we can argue over whether Kris Bryant or Craig Kimbrel is the bigger name. Either way, I think both get traded. I'll go off the board a bit and say Byron Buxton will be the biggest name traded. The Twins are trying to sign him long-term but there doesn't appear to be any traction, and even though his value is down because he's hurt, I think they'll get more for an injured Buxton now (i.e. his new team gets him for two postseason runs) than they would for a theoretically healthy Buxton in the offseason or at next year's trade deadline (i.e. his new team gets him for only one postseason run). There would be no shortage of suitors (Astros, Braves, Giants, Mets, Red Sox, Yankees, etc.), enough that the Twins would get a strong return despite the injury. I'll say Buxton is the biggest name moved.