Cubs Convention is happening this weekend, which isn’t of importance to anyone involved with the Washington Nationals, except for the fact that it is now 2018, the same calendar year in which Bryce Harper will reach free agency.
Or, in the mind of every Chicago Cubs fan, the year the Cubs will sign Bryce Harper.
Harper, who will command a contract that most experts predict will eclipse $400 million, may not be the most obvious fit for the Cubs, given that the Cubs already owe Jason Heyward more than $24 million dollars on average over the next six years, and are probably interested in locking up homegrown stars Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.
However, that hasn’t stopped Cubs fans from convincing themselves that Harper and Bryant are a match made in heaven, destined to be together on the Cubs.
Bryant, who grew up playing with Harper, has also noted that he’d love to play with the superstar outfielder, with whom he already participates in couples game nights and goes to Vegas Golden Knights games.
“I don’t make those decisions, and I don’t think I ever could make those decisions,” Bryant said, as quoted by the Chicago Tribune.
“But who wouldn’t want Bryce Harper on their team? He’s 25, and six years in the league he’s a superstar. He would bring a lot to any team.”
Harper, for his part, has never said much publicly about the possibility of joining Bryant in Chicago (nor has he ever said much of anything regarding leaving the Nationals or staying in Washington) but did once put a photo of himself and Bryant on social media tagged with the hashtag “#BackToBackOneDay.”
With that in mind, and considering that the Yankees — once considered Harper’s most likely landing spot — have already acquired Giancarlo Stanton and his behemoth contract, Cubs fans are showing serious confidence that they’ll be able to sign Harper come next season.
Try confident enough to ask Cubs’ president Theo Epstein when they can buy Harper’s jersey at Cubs Convention:
And another kid asks Theo when he can get his Bryce Harper jersey. Theo says “ask Kris Bryant.”
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) January 13, 2018
In other words, Epstein has almost assuredly thought about bringing Harper to Chicago, but this early in the process, is happy to leave the recruiting to Bryant, which Nationals GM Mike Rizzo surely appreciates.