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Bryce Harper, Cubs

Editorials

Why the Chicago Cubs should stay away from Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper is the biggest name available on the free agent market this offseason and the Chicago Cubs have been one of the most talked about teams that could potentially sign him. Despite all of the rumors and intrigue surrounding Harper to the north side of Chicago, signing him would be a mistake by the Cubs.

That isn’t to say that Harper’s bat wouldn’t make a major impact on the Cubs’ lineup. It also isn’t a statement saying that Harper would not fit with the Cubs if they did sign him.

Simply, the Cubs should not consider spending the amount of money that they would have to shell out to get Harper to sign with them.

Theo Epstein have built the Cubs into a contender with patience. It took time for Kris Bryant and Javier Baez to develop into MVP caliber talents. Willson Contreras, Ian Happ, and Kyle Schwarber are all young talents as well that have plenty of room to develop and improve.

Chicago has spent their money and made big trades for starting pitching. With names like Jose Quintana, Jon Lester, and Yu Darvish headlining the pitchers that the Cubs have brought in, there is still more work to do.

If the Cubs were to give Harper the $275-300 million contract that he is looking for, that would lock most of their money up long-term. That isn’t even thinking about the big contract extension that Kris Bryant will be looking for before too long. Chicago can’t afford to pay Harper, while also keeping their young talent on the roster and adding to their bullpen.

As “sexy” as a move for Harper would be, the Cubs do not need him in order to get back into World Series contention.

Looking at their current outfield situation, the Cubs have Jason Heyward, Albert Almora, Happ, Schwarber, and even Ben Zobrist if needed. Harper would force at least one of those talents out of playing time and likely off the roster.

At this point in time, the Cubs have shown no interest in trading Schwarber. That would mean that Happ would be the likely odd man out. Happ has been an excellent utility player and has shown a lot of promise at the plate as well.

Trading young players on team-friendly contracts for one player that would lock up a ton of money is not good business. Chicago did not win their first World Series in 108 years by throwing money at the biggest names on the free agency market.

Granted, if the Cubs do sign Harper, their offense is going to be much better. There is no question that Harper would make Chicago’s lineup one of the most lethal in baseball. That being said, the cost simply isn’t worth the return.

With teams like the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox willing to break the bank to sign Harper, the Cubs should not get into a bidding war.

Harper may seem like the perfect fit for the Cubs, but signing him might very well do more harm than good when looking at the big picture.