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Dreaming on Bryant and Harper Together, Russell’s Contact, Contreras’s Toss, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News, Chicago Cubs Rumors
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The Little Boy decided his wall and his door were an art project, so he is, at present, diligently working to scrub crayon away. The Internet has some tips on how best to do it, and maybe we’ll get there eventually, but we’re not necessarily looking for this to be easy.

  • Patrick Mooney talked to Kris Bryant about this weekend’s Bryce Harper rumor (Peter Gammons said he’s heard Harper wants to be a Cub), and it makes for a good read not only about that pairing, but about Bryant’s own contract situation. Bryant admits that the two Las Vegas natives have talked – in a light, fun way – about playing together again some day, but he knows that the business of the game will have a lot to do with how things actually play out.
  • Even if the money aspect were not going to be an issue (with arbitration raises coming for the Cubs, and so many needs in the rotation, it’s hard to see Harper being realistic unless the Cubs are willing to blow past the luxury tax cap), it would be interesting to consider how Harper would fit into the mix. To be quite clear, Harper is a guy you fit no matter who it displaces, but who would it be after next season? Harper probably isn’t a center fielder at this point, so would he go out to left and replace Kyle Schwarber? To right and move Jason Heyward to center? Or would Heyward have opted out at that point? It’s all totally academic at this point, and so much can change in a year and a half. But Harper’s free agency is a sufficiently huge deal that the conversations about it are going to start in earnest as soon as this offseason (in particular because expected bidders will start maneuvering to ensure they’re in a position to spend big the following offseason).

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(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
  • Fun fact: since Bryant came into the league in 2015, the top six in the NL in wRC+ goes Joey Votto, Harper, Freddie Freeman, Paul Goldschmidt, Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo. Imagine having three of those guys in the same freaking lineup.
  • Brett Anderson threw three simulated innings in Arizona yesterday as he recovers from his back injury (Cubs.com). There is no timetable in place for his return yet.
  • In his defense, Willson Contreras was probably thinking, “Well, I’m not supposed to fire it as hard as I can, right?”:

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  • Of course, Contreras then picked the runner off at first base, as if to say, “See, it’s better when I throw it hard.”
  • Rian Watt looks at Addison Russell’s troubles at The Athletic, and notes that a dramatic spike in medium contact is a very clear issue. At a whopping 62.5%, Russell leads baseball in medium contact by nearly three percentage points. Medium contact, in isolation, is not a horrible thing, but when it comes at the expense of hard contact it certainly is. On that front, Russell’s 22.8% hard contact rate is far below league average (31.9%), and far below where he was last year (29.3%).
  • Rob Zastryzny is funny, but does not have super powers:

  • Very cool shot:

  • SCardenfreude:


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor of Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.

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