Chicago Cubs: Is it possible to have one Cubs’ article without you?
Bryce Harper is one of the most hyped free agents in the history of baseball. At 26, the former National League MVP should have 30 teams interested in his service on a long-term deal. And yet, and yet… he’s not signed. We don’t even know if he has any offers. Well, other than the supposed 10 year/$300 million deal that was offered by the Washington Nationals and then promptly declined by, you guessed it – Boras (and maybe Harper).
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No one needs to tell you who Harper is- he’s the well-coiffed, power-hitting, on-base machine who might only be mediocre as an outfielder. But, he’s 26, and everyone knows his potential and possible production. Even if he doesn’t have an MVP season every year, he’s probably going to get on base almost 40 percent of the time, as he currently sports a career .388 OBP.
The question with Harper is, will anyone outdo GM Mike Rizzo and the Nationals’ bid? Or maybe: was Harper wise to turn down a $300 million offer? Most pundits (and even owners and GMs) would probably say no at this point given the free agent decimation that has occurred the last two offseasons. While the Cubs, White Sox, Yankees, Phillies, Dodgers, Nationals and even the Padres have been linked to Harper, the Nationals and Phillies seem to be the two most likely spots for him to land.
The Cubs have said repeatedly they’re not really able to sign him and it’s not gonna happen. The Dodgers just signed A.J. Pollock and don’t look like players after that. The Yankees also have a crowded outfield and roster. That leaves the White Sox and Padres with the other two likely destinations, but really, who wants to go play for the White Sox or Padres? Unless they blow that 10 years and $300 million deal out of the water, I don’t see why Harper would leave the place that drafted him and the fans who love him. Philadelphia is the other possibility because of their possible contention window, and the fact that Harper switching to another team in the National League East has a double whammy effect on the balance of power there.
While it would make Scott Boras unbelievably happy to get a bigger deal than the initial 10-year deal from the Nats, that’s probably what Harper will get and Washington will have the face of their franchise back.
While the Cubs may not be serious players for any of these guys, there’s always the possibility that the market could send some of these guys into panic or worry mode (not likely with Boras as the agent for most of them), causing them to take lesser deals.
If that happens, it will be interesting to see if the Cubs can be players for a guy like Kimbrel or even the oft-talked about Harper, given the fact that they could use the help in the bullpen and on offense.