Were the Chicago Cubs ever really a destination for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado?
Are you a Chicago Cubs fan? Do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through Twitter looking for updates on two specific major league baseball players? Have you shown signs of irritability over the last few weeks when anyone mentions the names, Bryce Harper or Manny Machado?
If so, you may be suffering from a condition known as MFS, or Macharper Fatigue Syndrome.
It’s a real thing. Or at least it sure feels like a real thing. Each day it seems like a new story comes out taking everything you thought you knew about the situation and flipping it on its head. The New York Yankees are out of the race until they’re back in. The Philadelphia Phillies are no longer a threat, and then suddenly they’re the dark horse.
One thing that has remained somewhat consistent (with the exception of a recent report) the Cubs have not been linked as a major player for either player. Why is that? Well, the answer could be found way back in late 2017 and early 2018, before a single pitch was even thrown that season.
That’s because, during the last offseason, the Cubs sank a boatload of money into Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood. The Darvish deal committed $126 million to the oft-injured righthander over six years. Just a few months earlier, they committed $38 million over three years to Tyler Chatwood. Finally, just before that, they spent $21 million on Brandon Morrow over two years.
Based on the above, the organization “allegedly” knew that this particular offseason would be a lean year and that they were unlikely to make a splash. According to Tom Ricketts, who made the rounds on Chicago sports talk radio yesterday morning, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer knew that as well.
But based on some other reports that came out about Epstein wanting Harper to hold off on a decision so that they could free up money, it appears that was news to him.
Nevertheless, unless he is playing the best game of possum ever, it seems Ricketts never had any intentions of loosening up the purse strings this offseason, and that it was extremely unlikely Harper or Machado was ever an option. The only remaining question is whether Epstein really knew.