Chicago Cubs: Bigger fish to fry
The sheer temptation of signing a guy like Harper rings strong with Cubs’ fans. What the realization needs to be, however, is that the club has some outstanding future contracts which need to be addressed. Rizzo, for example, is due just over $12 million next season and has a pair of $16.5 million team options at the back end of his deal.
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Kris Bryant finds himself in arbitration two heading into 2019. Rumors regarding a potential long-term deal lit the hot stove fire earlier in the fall, but we have no concrete evidence the two sides are close to anything. The former National League MVP will hit free agency in a few years and the Cubs need to do everything they can to lock him down for the future.
The final piece to the puzzle, second baseman Javier Baez, enters into arbitration one this upcoming season. Baez won’t hit the market until after the 2021 season, but he is still only 25 years old and will be a main staple of this franchise for the foreseeable future, especially following his career year in 2018.
Yes, it is tempting to bring on Harper. He would presumably boost the offense in a significant way and provide a solid middle-of-the-order bat to supplement the already potent lineup. But if he lands the type of deal he’s projected to fetch, the Cubs could lose out in the long game if they decided to bring him onboard.