The Chicago Cubs are in obvious cost-cutting mode. Here are three who could be traded before Opening Day.In recent years, the Chicago Cubs were one of the bigger spenders during MLB Hot Stove season. That hasn’t been the case this winter, as they are primarily focused on shedding salary and adding some much-needed prospects to their farm system.The first big domino to fall was ace pitcher Yu Darvish, who was traded along with catcher Victor Caratini to the San Diego Padres in exchange for pitcher Zach Davies and four prospects. That move helped the Cubs get Darvish’s hefty contract off the books for the next three seasons.This was the first big move the Cubs made, and it likely won’t be the last, as there have been various reports of teams contacting them for some of their key players. We are not saying these moves are definitely happening, but we cannot rule out the Cubs making them before Opening Day. Here are three players that could be the next to be flipped by Chicago. 3. Kris Bryant 3B Chicago Cubs Third baseman Kris Bryant has been the subject of trade talk for the past couple of years, mostly due to the fact that he’s owed a new contract at the end of this upcoming season. Ever since winning the 2016 NL MVP award and having a stellar 2017 campaign, Bryant wasn’t able to repeat said production (excluding 2019, which was a good year for him).Bryant is coming off a down year hampered by injuries. The third baseman was only able to play in 32 of 60 regular-season games in 2020, where he slashed .206/.293/.351 with four home runs and 11 RBI.Even with the rather lackluster year, any team with a player of Bryant’s caliber would find a way to re-sign him. The problem is that Bryant becomes a free agent after the 2021 campaign alongside first baseman Anthony Rizzo and star shortstop Javier Baez. With Baez likely getting the priority, Bryant is the odd man out, and you have to believe the Cubs would like to bring in some sort of return rather than let him walk for nothing.There have been various teams reported to have contacted the Cubs about Bryant this winter. The Washington Nationals, New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays have all explored a potential trade, but that talk has simmered down. However, with Spring Training just around the corner and Opening Day on the horizon, you can’t rule out an antsy team offering the world to the Cubs for Bryant.
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