Chicago Cubs: Options aplenty next offseason outside of Bryce Harper

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Major free agents remain unsigned one week into January. Why? Because the Chicago Cubs – and other teams – have their sights set on a loaded 2018 class.

The likes of Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish, Alex Cobb and Eric Hosmer headline a free agent class anxiously eying the calendar. The Chicago Cubs report in five weeks – along with the rest of baseball – for Spring Training. Yet, all of these players, as well as others, remain homeless. Not in the traditional sense, of course. But what uniform they’ll wear in 2018 is anybody’s guess.

Why? Aside from the competitive balance tax (essentially a salary cap) under the new collective bargaining agreement, one culprit looms large. A historically loaded 2018-19 free agent class – led by Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

The Cubs will undoubtedly add another starter in the next month. Whether it’s Darvish, Arrieta or Cobb remains to be seen. But if the team wants to stockpile some funds for next winter, only a fool could blame them.

Yes, it’s supposedly as good as done. Bryce Harper is going to team up with Kris Bryant to form one of the most lethal offensive combinations in baseball history. But what if that doesn’t happen? Where will Chicago turn in search of an impact addition?

Let’s just say there are more than a few options.