Cubs rumors: Should the Cubs make that commitment?
Bryce Harper is going to get paid this offseason, that much we know. How much he will get paid, and by who is a different story. Understanding the market limits many teams from being able to afford Harper’s services provides a better understanding of where he could go next.
If the Cubs are indeed gifted the opportunity to sign Harper on a shorter-term deal, still paying Harper what he wants, Theo Epstein should pull the trigger, no questions asked. The Cubs currently have Jon Lester, Jason Heyward, and Yu Darvish, on deals of at least $20 million. Cole Hamels is projected to earn $20 million as well in 2019 (although the team saved $7 million by trading Drew Smyly), while a few other players sit on the lower end.
On the positive, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant are still in the varying stages of arbitration. All-Star backstop Willson Contreras is still in pre-arbitration. Many other players find themselves in arbitration as well. For the Cubs, the future could get murky with hammering down deals. However, with Harper on the table, that is future Theo’s problem.
In 2012 the Denver Broncos signed Peyton Manning. To this day it still goes down as one of the most significant free agent signings in NFL history. Why am I telling you this? Because Bryce Harper may find himself in the history book as one of the best free agents of all time in MLB years down the road.
Teams have waited for 2019. The free agent class is one of the best in recent memory. Epstein and the Cubs cannot afford to miss the boat on a player of Harper’s caliber. Mix in the fact that he is still just 26 years old, in the prime of his career, makes it that much easier to make the call. Harper is an investment and a worthy one at that.
In Theo We Trust.