This is what makes Chris Bryant such a popular commodity on the trade market, now it looks like Cubs officially become sellers: Almost every competitive team will look at Kobe and think, “Yes, we have his place!”
This is rare for positional players, but Kobe has a variety of versatility. Basically, he is not a midfielder or catcher, but nothing more: this year alone, he started 15 third base games, 13 right games, 10 left games, and 8 first base games. And 4 midfield games. He is not necessarily a golden glove man in any position, but he is certainly capable in every position, which adds a lot of extra value.
And he doesn’t mind walking around, even during the game. We have listed his total number of “start games”, but this is the total number of games he has played in each position: 24 three-pointers, 20 right, 14 left, 10 first, 10 center. It is a manager’s dream to be able to make all queen starts in a defensive position.
He became a free agent after this year, which means he is a tenant. For some teams, this is bad. For some people, this is fine. But if the goal is to enter October — or win the World Series — it’s just a small detail, not an obstacle. This year, he performed well in April and May, and then underperformed in June. In a small sample of six games in July, his batting rate was 0.348.
Where will he be in August? Let’s take a look at six potential destinations.
Why is he suitable: We try to cover all the basics here. It seems unlikely—the Yankees already have too many right-handed batsmen in the lineup—but if one of the goals is to add a bat and they don’t like left-handed options in the trading market, they can do better than Kobe is still bad. Aaron Judge has had a great year in the right field, but let’s take a look at the OPS+ numbers of players on the left field for the Yankees this year…
Miguel Andujar: 83
Clint Fraser: 77
Brett Gardner: 70
Tim Rocastro: 43 years old (including his time in Arizona)
Mike Tauchman: 54
Remember, the league average for this statistic is 100. So basically, every left fielder used by the Yankees this season is far below the league average. Yes, they can use Kobe, and don’t forget that he can also use Gardner at the center position (and his average batting rate of 0.189), although he may not be the full-time answer there.
Why is he suitable: Hey, don’t laugh. In four games above 0.500, the Mariners are tied with the Blue Jays in the wild card game (3 1/2 in second place) and have a better record than the Yankees. For a team that hasn’t played in the playoffs since 2001—the longest winning streak in baseball history—you know they will at least explore options. Remember their general manager? The compulsive trader Jerry DiPoto (Jerry DiPoto) himself. If the next few weeks are a disaster, it is not impossible to think that he can trade Kobe now, and then trade him again before the July 30 deadline. Seattle’s pitching is useful, but the offense needs help. Kyle Seager is in third place, the same as Mitch Haniger, but Kobe will be a left-court or DH upgrade.
Why is he suitable: As we said before, whether the Warriors will become a buyer is far from certain. This year they encountered a lot of problems in finding any traction. But they still have only a few games in their first game in NL East, and trading Kobe will keep the heavy hitters away from another team that will benefit from KB’s bat (spoiler). Add Kobe, leave him at third base and transfer Austin Riley to the outfield (he is a better hot corner defender than Riley) to win the NL East. Is it that simple?
Why is he suitable: Will the Cubs really trade Kobe to a divisional opponent who just rushed past them in June and brought a devastating blow to Chicago’s 2021 season? If the only goal is to build a better team and the Brewers provide the best offer, yes, they should definitely trade him to Milwaukee. Of course, the Brewers are a competitor to the Cubs, but they are not like the Cardinals, right? This is not a century-long competition.
The Brewers have encountered a variety of injuries this year. Although low-risk trades for people like Rowdy Tellez may be effective, adding a veteran bat like Kobe will have a greater impact. In the days when the club hopes to get more offense from this position, he can play center. If Luis Urias – 12 homers in 83 games this year and 6 home runs in 124 professional games into 2021 – slow down, or if He needs to be in another position and he can play third base. If Telles does not find his batting percentage, he can play first. The Brewers are a team that will compete for the NL spot in the World Series, and adding a versatile mid-level bat like Kobe is almost exactly what they need.
Why is he suitable: Look, this is an Oakland team, they have the ability to finally let the long-awaited in-depth game into October. Well, most of the works. A Another impact rod can be used. Obviously, as long as Matt Chapman is healthy, Kobe will not play third, but he will immediately be promoted to the corner outfield position or DH. Although many teams will think that Kobe’s loan status is a bad thing, the lack of financial commitment may actually be seen as a reward for A.
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Why is he suitable: Considering that the Mets were listed as the most likely destination earlier this week, it may not be surprising that the Mets are ranked first here. No competitor needs an offensive kick more than the Mets. Of course, perhaps the biggest problem is that they just need their veterans to play better — hey, Jeff McNeill, Michael Confort and Francisco Lindo — but at some point, one team has won the World Series. The championship vision team can’t just sit there and wait. Adding Kobe’s multifunctional bat to the lineup is a fantastic solution. JD Davis was rolling before landing at IL; when he returns, maybe Kobe will move to the outfield? Kobe provides a lot of options for the team.
Oh, and this: Imagine that the Mets have lost multiple 1-0 or 2-1 games in the playoff series-of course, 1-0 will be Jacob DeGrom’s Opening-the deadline after adding the bat before the start of the game without taking any action? Mets fans will not be happy (nor will the players).