Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant has been one of the best players in baseball since 2015.

After winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award that season, Bryant would be named the NL MVP in his sophomore campaign, becoming the first player to win both awards consecutively since Dustin Pedroia in 2007 and 2008.

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Despite a shoulder issue that plagued his 2018 season, Bryant has bounced back in 2019. The former No. 2 overall pick ranks 23rd in fWAR and was named to the All-Star team for the third time in his career.

However, ESPN MLB Insider Jeff Passan writes that the Cubs may entertain trade offers for Bryant this winter in part because of his representation (Scott Boras) and the need for depth in the farm system.

Bryant is the wild card. A not-uncommon feeling inside the Cubs organization is the need for a big shake-up. Perhaps Maddon leaving would provide that. The sentiment among some extends to the players too. And with Javier Baez a reasonable bet to stick around — more on that later — and Bryant a Boras client more prone to testing free agency, the Cubs may see him as a combination of Betts and Lindor: a star with two years of control primed to hold out for free agency but capable beforehand of enriching a farm system in desperate need of help after years of dealing away its most valuable pieces.

Although Bryant has posted good numbers this season, the narrative (whether true or false) is that he is at the center of Chicago's offensive inconsistencies.

Since the All-Star break, Bryant is slashing just .248/.327/.458, and his strikeout rate has increased significantly.

ESPN's Buster Olney wrote last November that the Cubs might be open to trading Bryant, but that was interpreted more as a statement on a Theo Epstein-led front office that has a history of mixing things up and never ruling out any possibilities.

Should the Cubs fail to make noise in October, they should certainly be a team to watch this winter.