Vegas bros Kris Bryant and Bryce Harper reunited? What are the odds?
MIAMI — Bryce Harper knew exactly what he was doing a couple of weeks ago in Washington when he hashtagged an Instagram picture of him and Las Vegas pal Kris Bryant and their wives with “#Back2BackOneDay.”
“Just stirring the pot,” Harper said with a smile. “That’s what I do best.”
That stewpot was started earlier last month when baseball writer Peter Gammons said on 670 The Score that Harper had told people close to him that he wanted to sign with the Cubs as a free agent after next season but that it probably wouldn’t happen.
“I have no idea what he was talking about or what was going on,” said Harper, the Nationals’ five-time All-Star, who was the leading vote-getter for Tuesday night’s game. “I have no clue. But everybody’s got an opinion.”
That has been Harper’s stock answer ever since. But Bryant, the Cubs’ reigning National League MVP, has said he and Harper have at least casually played the what-if game on the subject.
And everybody in baseball seems to have an opinion on uniting the left-right pair of MVP sluggers in the middle of the same lineup.
The consensus opinion is that Cubs fans can forget about it happening in Chicago when Harper gets what many expect to be baseball’s first $400 million contract after next season.
Here’s another opinion:
“I hope they’ll be joining L.A.,” Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen said. “That’s got a chance to transform somebody into a super team. I mean, if we have a team like us, and then add them two in it, with the best pitcher on the planet [Clayton Kershaw], it’ll be great. It’ll be fun to watch.”
Certainly, nobody spends more money than the Dodgers these days. Maybe the idea isn’t as crazy as some would have you believe.
Which brings up another opinion:
“It would certainly be cool,” Bryant said, “because obviously we grew up in the same town, we played together on the same team, so it would be kind of cool to do that at this level.”
Harper after next season, then lobbying for Bryant three years later? In Hollywood. Or right down Broadway, in New York?
The stuff of lights so bright and stages so big they would rival their hometown Vegas Strip.
If it’s not the Cubs, it could create a team that keeps the Cubs from another title for a lot of years.
“I think anytime hometown friends get together, someone’s always going to write about the interest level for them to some day play together,” said agent Scott Boras, the man who could help make it happen because he represents both.
He conspicuously left out the fact it was Harper keeping the story alive just when the media seemed to lose interest.
Boras downplayed the potential for it to actually happen.
“They’re frankly too good,” he said. “They’re superstar talents.
“The other part is that one will be a free agent before the other,” he added. “So the determination of that may have to be more in Kris Bryant’s pocket than it would be in Bryce Harper’s.”
We already know Bryant’s opinion.
What could such a modern-day Ruth-Gehrig, Ortiz-Ramirez pairing look like?
Like Bryant’s first-inning home run off Chris Sale in last year’s All-Star Game? Like Harper’s first-inning hit off Sale and third-inning walk Tuesday night? Like Harper’s diving catch in right field in the second?
“Bryce Harper’s one of my favorite guys I love watching play,” Jansen said. “He plays the game hard and plays it right. He wants to win every day. I love watching both of them. Kris Bryant is a great guy, who plays the game hard, plays the game right. They’re easily going to be two faces of major league baseball.
“Who knows?” he said. “I can’t predict the future. I don’t know what they’re thinking. If they want to do that, hopefully, it’s the Dodgers.”
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