Can the Chicago Cubs actually afford Bryce Harper?

While the Chicago Cubs were in the middle of sweeping their rivals the St. Louis Cardinals, the biggest news regarding the team came from Peter Gammons.

The baseball expert revealed that he has hard Bryce Harper would like to play for the Chicago Cubs one day while appearing on the Mully and Hanley show Friday.

Here’s what Gammons said:

“But at the same time, the question is going to be with Bryce Harper — what is it that he’s going to end up getting? You know, I have people tell me that Bryce Harper really would prefer to play for the Cubs. Somehow, I don’t think it’s going to be affordable to have Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant on the same team. But it’s a great idea. I’d love to see it, because I respect them both so much personally and professionally. But I don’t think it’s ever going to happen.”

Acquiring a player like Harper is a no brainer for every MLB team. But him joining the Cubs would give them arguably the best outfield in baseball. Can it really happen though?

Gammons mentioned that the Cubs still have Kris Bryant for seven years and the young slugger is on his way to having a historic career.

Both Harper and Bryant are going to command large deals when it’s time to renew them. Bryant could get in the range of $350-$400M if he keeps it up, meaning there’s no room for Harper.

One AL General Manager already thinks the 24-year-old should get more than $400M:

“For two of the last three years, if he hasn’t been the best player in the National League, he’s certainly on the short list. He’s one of the best players in the world. He’s one of the youngest players in baseball, and he’s one of the most accomplished.”

Before long, he’ll be one of the wealthiest. Said the GM: “He is going to get paid. Like, paid paid.”

With Harper and Bryant earning anywhere from $200-$400M, the Cubs would have to make a lot of room financially for the two. That includes letting go of some core players.

The year 2019 will be a big one for the Cubs in terms of money. It will be the second year of arbitration for Kris Bryant and rookie deals for Addison Russell, Javier Baez, Kyle Hendricks and Kyle Schwarber will be up, meaning the Cubs will have to deal out some arbitration money to those players.

Most, if not all of those players will get a good amount of money in arbitration from the Cubs.

Jason Heyward’s deal has an opt-out clause after the 2018 season. If that’s used, that would free up a lot of cash for the Cubs.

Even with that cash and if money is freed up elsewhere, it will be tough for the Cubs to make it work.

They will eventually need to spend money on some pitching unless they try to develop talent in the minor leagues.

The Cubs would also have to blow way past the luxury tax cap, something I don’t see them doing.

But for now, it’s fun to dream. The two have even discussed playing on the same team together, something they did while playing travel baseball in Las Vegas.

Will it happen? Stay tuned.

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