Chicago Cubs: Team’s season would look quite different with Harper
We all know the Chicago Cubs offense has a tremendous amount of talent, especially since they added Nicholas Castellanos at the trade deadline. Despite their inconsistencies that have seemed glaring at times, this roster has the pieces needed to win.
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But had the Cubs added the nearly $28 million in Harper’s payroll to the mix last offseason, Epstein would have been completely handcuffed this summer. With injuries piling up in the bullpen and a huge hole at the back end, Chicago went out and signed free agent closer Craig Kimbrel in early July, bringing in the likely future Hall of Famer on a three-year, $43 million deal.
Then, ownership approved the funds needed to add Castellanos, a huge bat, to the mix right before the deadline on July 31. Since then, the team has looked drastically improved at the plate – and the guy has lengthened the lineup in a big way.
None of these moves would have been possible if the team had Harper in tow. While he certainly is an upgrade over someone like Albert Almora in the outfield, the Cubs are pretty well set with Kyle Schwarber, Castellanos and Heyward manning those three spots.
With the Phillies languishing, Harper not living up to lofty expectations and guys like Heyward and Schwarber playing well for the first-place Chicago Cubs, it’s easier than ever to look at this offseason and feel like the team made the right call not blowing the budget on the former phenom.