Bryce Harper recently signed a $22 million extension through the 2018 season with the Nationals, but reports say he already has his eyes set on the Cubs for when he hits free agency.
Longtime baseball writer Peter Gammons told 670 the Score on Friday, “I have people tell me that Bryce Harper, really, would prefer to play for the Cubs.” That’s an alarming, newsworthy statement for obvious reasons. Harper potentially joining the likes of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and the rest of the studs in northside Chicago would be a sight to see. But let’s not get carried away by Gammons’ vague comment.
All signs point to Harper receiving an absurd amount of money from several squads when he’s on the market. The Cubs very well could be one of those teams in the running, but they’ll likely have to outbid teams like the Yankees, Dodgers, and Nationals. While that’s not an impossible task — especially if Harper really wants to be a Cub — it certainly won’t be easy.
That’s because current Cubs superstar Bryant is going to have to be paid soon. And by paid, I mean paid. Signing Bryant to an extension and snagging Harper on the free agent market doesn’t seem to make much financial sense. Plus, there’s the whole wanting to win in Washington” factor. The Cubs are a powerhouse, but the 24-year-old superstar’s situation with the Nationals ain’t too shabby either. There’s plenty of talent on that roster. He’s so close to a World Series in Washington he can taste it. Unless he feels like pulling a Kevin Durant, why leave?
Going back to the Harper/Bryant dilemma, Peter Gammons had this to say about the chances of having both on the same roster:
“Somehow I don’t think it’s going to be affordable to have Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant on the same team,” Gammons said. “It’s a great idea, I’d love to see it. I respect them both so much, personally and professionally. But I don’t think it’s going to ever happen.”
So don’t hold your breath, Cubs fans. Harper might like the idea of calling Wrigley Field home (he even has a dog named Wrigley), but that doesn’t mean it’ll be the right situation at the right time.