In news that probably doesn’t matter now, but will leave you feeling slightly cup-checked, Bryce Harper really did like the Cubs all along. It wasn’t just toying with the public for fun.
For what it’s worth, my source who is close to Bryce Harper tells me #Dodgers and #Cubs were 1st choices all along and he prefers not to sign with #Phillies. I’ve been hearing all winter that Harper does not want to play for Gabe Kapler due to analytics and quirky personality
— Randy Miller (@RandyJMiller) February 26, 2019
Although that could be more of an effort by Scott Boras to get the Phillies to up their offer, it also has a feeling of correctness, based on our sense of everything that’s come our way the past couple years. Cubs and Dodgers. Makes sense.
The Dodgers, by the way, just got back into the mix. Good for them.
As for the Cubs, well, we’ll always have the report that they asked Scott Boras to check back in with them before signing anything, and also the report that the front office really did want Harper. And now we’ll also know that Harper really wanted them, too.
But alas, there is no money for a 26-year-old generational talent in free agency. You won’t hear me calling the Cubs or their ownership “cheap.” The payroll is the second highest in the game, and the Cubs have made some very expensive long-term commitments. I get it, and I recognize it.
I’m just going to say, as I have been since, oh, September 2017: the game offers you only so many chances to land guys like Harper at ages like 26. When you’re in the middle of a competitive window – which won’t last forever – and the guy’s age lines up perfectly with your core, sometimes you have to be bold and find a way to extend yourself financially. There was a long time when I really thought the Cubs would.
I no longer think that.