Chicago Cubs: There will never be an opportunity this good to sign Harper or Machado again
In a few years, the Cubs competitive window may begin to close. Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Kyle Schwarber and Mike Montgomery are under team control for three more years. Kyle Hendricks and José Quintana are only under team control for two more seasons. Veterans such as Jon Lester may begin to decline in with age.
All of the players with opt-outs that we mentioned? Many played better before the opt-out than after. So signing free agents during their peak years of performance is essential. The Diamondbacks would rather have the Greinke that pitched for the Dodgers than the version that they signed. In a few years, even Harper and Machado are going to be older.
The reason Harper and Machado are still out there is that the free agent market has been depressed during the last two offseasons. Free agents are unexpectedly more affordable than they were just two years ago. Harper and Machado would have cost a team more before the new collective bargaining agreement. Players in their tier will likely cost more after this C.B.A. is torn up and a new one put in its place.
Due to the Cubs competitive window, the currently depressed market and the age of these players it would be better to get them now, but if it just isn’t possible due to budget it doesn’t mean that these players will never be Cubs