Hope everyone had a good holiday whatever you celebrate. The Cubs hot stove is starting to show a flicker of heat. At least enough for me to write a new rumor article. The Bryce Harper to Cubs talk refuses to die, despite getting very little oxygen. With that in mind, scenarios to unload Jason Heyward's contract are also being churned out by the rumor mill.
J-Hey By The Bay?
Cubs twitter came to life on Wednesday with rumors flying of the San Francisco Giants interest in Jason Heyward. Fans hoping to clear salary to sign Bryce Harper jumped all over the idea. Ian Happ was included in the discussion as the possible sweetener to the deal for the Giants. Closer Mark Melancon was speculated as the bad contract returning to the Cubs, who would save money from the luxury tax in the deal.
There was only one real problem with this story, no reputable baseball writers reported on it. Well reputable is a relative term with sports writers, so let's no one from a major outlet with any track record mentioned it. As best I can tell, the rumor began with a twitter account named Charles the Cat.
Now I'm not saying Mr. The Cat may not be right, but I have no idea who they are and if they have ever been right before. Rumors about the Giants interest in Heyward date to last year. In the fine tradition of WetButt23 and KatiePerrysBootyHole I will need to see more credible information before any stock could be put in this trade idea.
If the Cubs are going to sign Harper it will likely take clearing salary somewhere. So a trade similar to the fake Heyward trade would be needed. Speaking of the Bryce Harper sweepstakes.
Don't Stop Believing
Cubs fans got some new Harper straws to grasp to this week with a pair of reports. First, came word that Theo Epstein asked Bryce's agent Scott Boras for a chance to clear salary before his client makes a decision. The report came from the usually skeptical Sun Times, so it got some tongues wagging. The request supposedly came during a three-hour meeting during the winter meetings.
Jon Heyman then appeared on MLB Network and speculated the Cubs were more likely than the LA Dodgers to land the slugging right fielder. This obviously came as a surprise after the Dodgers cleared salary trading Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to the Reds last week. Speculation immediately began the move was to pave the way for Harper coming to Hollywood. Heyman tried to clarify his statement on twitter after his TV hit.
Just to put this into context, I was ONLY answering a question about which of THESE 2 big market teams that may be lurking — dodgers or cubs — is more likely to sign harper. I suggested maybe cubs more likely than LA mostly based on the 2 teams’ recent history w/ big free agents https://t.co/Q1WLpqBrGZ
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 27, 2018
Could this be as simple as Scott Boras leveraging the Cubs to get more from the Dodgers? I think it could be, it could also be Harper wants to go to Wrigley and is giving them every chance. In that scenario, Boras would be using the Dodgers as leverage on the Cubs? Or am I just trying to add some excitement to a lifeless off-season on the Northside? And what product does he use in that flowing mane? For answers to those questions and more, stay tuned for next week's episode of the Bryce and the Beautiful.