By Kevin Powell
Remember a couple years ago when people started tossing around the idea that maybe the Cubs can someday lure Bryce Harper to the North Side? Most laughed it off. It seemed impossible with massive pay day’s eventually coming for the Cubs’ young core of stars. But fast forward to now, January 2018, and Harper to the Cubs doesn’t seem like an unreasonable pipe dream.
The Kris Bryant-Bryce Harper bromance has been well documented. At this year’s Cubs Convention, Bryant was asked about a potential Harper-Cubs deal.
“Who wouldn’t want Bryce Harper on their team?” Bryant told reporters. “He’s 25, and after six years in the league he’s a superstar. He would bring a lot to any team. That will be interesting to follow next season.”
But we don’t have to wait until the season starts. Harper to the Cubs has been a thing for a while now. The social media stalking by Cubs fans has revealed “clues” that Harper could be coming to Chicago:
It’s become an obsession among Cubs fans.
There’s the obvious Las Vegas connection between Harper and Bryant. The two played ball together as teenagers. Their wives are friends. But it will inevitably come down to money, and reports indicate the Nationals outfielder could fetch a deal between 350 and 500 million dollars. Obviously, Theo & Co. would have to find a way to get Jason Heyward’s bloated contract off the books.
I talked with some fans at Cubs Convention and was actually kind of surprised that not everyone was on board with signing Harper.
“I guess, it wouldn’t hurt to sign him,” Keith from LaPorte, Indiana said. “I wouldn’t say I’d give him thirty million dollars per year, but if he comes to Chicago I think I’d be happy with that.”
Joe from Louisville, Kentucky seemed OK with them passing on Harper: “He’s gifted, he’s talented, but I like the chemistry the Cubs have.”
“I would not give the ship away to get him,” Scott from Romeoville said before his son, Michael, jumped in with, “I would.”
But as one fan put it: “Theo’s a genius…I don’t judge what he does.”
Tough to argue with that.
Money is the primary concern, but keep in mind Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney talked at length about a new TV broadcast deal at the convention. Whatever type of deal the Cubs do strike, expect to see boat loads of cash flowing in.
We’re just about a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting. In the meantime, keep your eyes on Bryant’s and Harper’s social media accounts.
Kevin Powell covers Chicago baseball for WGN Radio and anchors sports on The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes, M-F/3-7p. Follow on twitter @kpowell720