Chicago Cubs: Bryce Harper signs with Phillies; Kris Bryant’s future?

Bryce Harper finally signed a contract, a record-breaking deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, while the Chicago Cubs eyed their own standout slugger.

For better or worse, it’s over. Finally. Thank goodness. Bryce Harper signed a 13-year, $330 million deal to join the Philadelphia Phillies, breaking the previous record held by Giancarlo Stanton, who inked a $325 million extension with the Miami Marlins back in 2015. For Chicago Cubs fans, it means we can finally accept that the Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo bromance won’t turn into a love triangle.

Bryant spoke about his being open to talking about an extension with the Cubs, with two marquee players signing in recent days. The first, Nolan Arenado – a fellow NL third baseman – signed an eight-year, $260 milion extension with the Colorado Rockies. Then, of course, Harper signed with the Phillies on Thursday.

Those two deals, along with Manny Machado‘s 10-year, $300 million contract with the San Diego Padres, will likely set the bar for future negotiations between Theo Epstein and Scott Boras, who represents Bryant – just as he represented and Harper.

But there’s still plenty of time for the two sides to get together on a long-term deal to make KB a Cub for life (we hope). The team continued their Cactus League action on Thursday, dropping a 10-3 decision to the Oakland Athletics at Sloan Park. Right-hander Kyle Hendricks turned in a pair of incredibly efficient scoreless innings in the loss.

We’re now just weeks from Opening Day in Arlington, where the Cubs will battle the Texas Rangers. Now that the drama surrounding Harper and Machado has concluded, we’ll be focusing a great deal on the decisions facing manager Joe Maddon – namely up the middle, both in the infield and outfield.

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Harper to the Phils a fitting end to disappointing offseason – Cubbies Crib

Arrieta, well, did something interesting to welcome Harper – Bleacher Nation

Bryant’s future with Cubs more questionable by the day? – Cubbies Crib

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