Bryant will turn 27 this offseason while Arenado will turn 28 early in 2019 so youth is on the side of Kris as is team control. Arenado is a free agent after this next season while Bryant won’t be one until after the 2021 season.
While Arenado has dumped Scott Boras as his agent, Bryant is still represented by him but neither are going to come cheap. It’s widely expected that Arenado will set the record for a fourth-year arbitration salary this winter near $25 million while Bryant set the record for first-year arbitration last year at $10.85 million.
Arenado’s defense may be better amassing Gold Gloves in each of his six seasons in The Show but Bryant is much more versatile playing plus defense at first and third base, left and right field while occasionally playing shortstop and center.
With the Milwaukee Brewers model this past season of disregarding infield defense paying off to a National League Championship series and teams more reliant on shifting, versatility has become more important than elite single position defense.
The one big-time plus Arenado has over Bryant is in 2018 the Cubs’ star succumbed to injuries only playing 102 games while being a limited to a career worst .834 OPS when on the field. Arenado OPS’d over .930 for the third straight year and has played more than 156 games each of the past four seasons.
But Bryant has control, youth, career production, money value and a more proven postseason track record over Arenado.