Chicago Cubs: How would Bryce Harper signing impact other outfielders?

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(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
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Chicago Cubs: Don’t expect Harper in center field at Wrigley

Bryce Harper started 59 games in center field this season. But that was for the Nationals. Albert Almora and Jason Heyward are too good defensively to justify playing Harper in center when one of them is also in the lineup. Happ may also play center field over Harper.

Harper would play center field over someone like Kris Bryant, but even that is debatable. The only sure combination of Cubs outfielders when Harper would play center field is with Kyle Schwarber and Ben Zobrist. So if Harper is going to be a Chicago Cubs outfielder, it is going to be in a corner slot. Harper will play left field when Heyward is in right. But he probably plays right field when Heyward is either in center or on the bench.

The other possibility is that they just make Harper the full-time left fielder rather than forcing him to bounce back and forth. Maddon and the Cubs treated Jorge Soler similarly in 2016. Prior to that season, Soler had only played right field at the Major League level. That year, Soler played almost exclusively left field, rather than playing him in right field on the rare occasion when that spot wasn’t occupied by Heyward.