The Chicago Cubs were widely expected to be active in the Bryce Harper free agent sweepstakes, but All-Star third baseman Kris Bryant ruled out that possibility.
Per Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, Bryant said Harper's "not signing here," while mentioning the Cubbies already have a "killer team." Bryant also added that he and Harper don't discuss the free agency "process."
Bryant's words shouldn't come as much of a surprise, as the Cubs never seemed that intent on going after Harper. The Philadelphia Phillies are widely mentioned as the heavy favorites to land him, with the Washington Nationals (Harper's team for seven years), and Chicago White Sox also listed as possible destinations.
Harper and Bryant are close friends outside of baseball, and given the Cubs' status as one of the most dominant teams in the NL, it would have made plenty of sense for them to recruit the 2015 NL MVP.
But Harper is expected to earn a contract of at least $350 million, and the Cubs aren't in a position to invest that much money into one player. They won the World Series in 2016 and have reached the NLCS in three of the last four years. Chicago has an excellent core, and they clearly don't feel the need to invest heavily in another player, even one of Harper's caliber.
Harper is set to land the richest contract in MLB history, and though the Cubs seemed like a good fit for him at first, the dream simply won't happen in the Windy City. Bryant knows Harper better than most, and he wasted little time in dashing the dreams of Cubs fans.
What This Means
The Cubs never seemed to be deeply involved in the Harper sweepstakes, but you can rule them out altogether now. Harper has yet to sign, two months after free agency started. Surely, the Phillies or somebody else will start throwing out the money soon enough.