If the Chicago Cubs are still trying to trade away Kris Bryant, don’t count Bryce Harper among those who want his team to go out and get the superstar. Harper was asked whether or not he’d like the Philadelphia Phillies to enter the Bryant sweepstakes this weekend. The question was likely geared towards someone who is considered a friend of the Cubs’ player and a fellow Las Vegas native.
Rather than answering with the expected affirmative you’d expect from an All-Star player when talking about adding another All-Star to the roster, Harper took the tactful tone of someone who wanted to make sure a trade didn’t put his team in a situation where they were giving up too much talent. Phillies beat writer Meghan Montemurro reported his reaction on Twitter.
“I mean, you have to have certain guys on your team that make less money to also have guys that make more money, as well. Kris, of course, you want an All-Star-caliber player but we have Bohm. We have a big-time third baseman and we were able to get him in the draft. Of course, any time you’re able to add an All-Star player you’re going to want to add an All-Star player. But you have to be able to know that you developed a player in the minor leagues.”
Harper further explained his point of view by talking about the Chicago Cubs and the team not being where they thought they might be. Harper ended the quote by saying he’d prefer to see what happened as the season went on, with the potential bonus of the asking price for Kris Bryant eventually being lower.
In the end, the Phillies outfielder wanted to make sure his front office wasn’t trading away too much young talent in order to get the Cubs slugger. Harper was also very aware that signing Bryant to an extension would be a tall task, so trading away that young talent would only be getting a year and a half, or two years at the most, of the Chicago superstar in return.
The reaction by Bryce Harper might have been unexpected precisely because the two players are friends and have talked about playing together before. When Harper was a free agent last offseason, there were more than a few reports the Chicago Cubs were the frontrunners to land him. In the end, the team couldn’t offer the kind of years or money the outfielder was looking for at the time.
Things are a bit different this time around, with Theo Epstein and company actively shopping Kris Bryant on the trade market. While it would be a different kind of price, Harper doesn’t appear anxious for the Philadelphia Phillies to pay it.