True story: after getting the kiddos settled down on Saturday, I was bellying up to my computer to write a post about how Kris Bryant had said some stuff about Bryce Harper joining the Cubs, continuing the now months long process of teasing the hell out of us about the two pairing up some day.
As I started typing, I saw the video of what had just happened to Harper while slipping off of first base. Given the potential seriousness of that knee injury, and also the extreme uncertainty it injected into his near and medium-term future, it didn’t make a lot of sense at that moment to publish something on the duo pairing up. Harper might not even have a knee anymore!
… OK, so that was not ever likely to be the case, but now with some distance, we know that Harper lucked out and suffered only a bone bruise that could cost him a few weeks.
Which means I can now more comfortably share Bryant’s comments with a little elbow-poking, side-winking fun:
“[W]e’ll definitely welcome him here,” Bryant said of his Las Vegas friend during an interview on The Score when he was asked about the possibility of pairing up. “He’d be a good addition.”
Bryant conceded that he, Harper, and their wives are all having some fun with this, and he feels bad that Harper always gets asked about the Cubs when the two teams play. Free agent doesn’t come for Harper until after the 2018 season, so there’s still a long way to go.
But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to read the tea leaves that, if Bryant had his way, the Cubs would make some aggressive overtures for Harper.
My official position on Harper, by the way, is that there are only so many opportunities to sign a superstar, impact player in his mid-20s, and all large market teams – like the Cubs – need to explore the possibility, even if the roster/luxury tax fit is tricky. I’d be very surprised if the Cubs aren’t involved at least in some way next offseason, and the rumor mill will probably churn all next year on Harper.
Thankfully, he didn’t explode his knee this weekend, making things all the more complicated.