Everybody, play it cool. Of course Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are pursuing Bryce Harper. He’s a superstar in his prime who desperately wants to be a Cub. We know all the clues: grew up with Kris Bryant; wives are besties; dog named Wrigley; constantly wearing Chicago gear and dropping KB back-to-back hints on Instagram.
Theo is keeping fashionably mum as Harper’s bazaar begins. It’s all the rage with GMs these days. My guess is, come February, Harper will be reporting to Mesa.
The Cubs are crying poor, which is a lie. Look around Rickettsville. The vast majority of places you can eat, drink or sleep within sight of the ballpark are owned by the team. I don’t like the Cubs pretending they’re broke when I’m paying $11 a beer and $99 for “premium” games in the bleachers. It reminds me of when my wealthy boss borrows a dollar for the vending machine because he doesn’t like to carry cash. Plus, the Cubs avoided the luxury tax this year, so they’re good on additional penalties for awhile. Believe me, they can easily afford $34 million a year for Harper.
If a superstar wants to come to your team, you open your arms. Sure, this is a far cry from Andre Dawson signing a blank contract, but dude wants to play here and it would be insane!! Imagine a Harper-Bryant-Rizzo-Baez top four. You sign him then you figure everything else out.
Keep him away from your rivals. Want to live in a world where you spurned Bryce Harper and he has to settle for playing in St. Louis. Then you have to face him 18 times a year, knowing he can summon that superstar edge and rise up a level to destroy the team that didn’t want him. Me neither.
Don’t worry. Theo won’t let that happen. Right?