Bryant Miffed By Limited Market For Harper, Machado

"I know a lot of the other players are pretty upset about it," Kris Bryant says.

January 18, 2019 - 6:19 pm

(670 The Score) Stating directly what many team officials have indicated, Kris Bryant said star free agent Bryce Harper, his good friend, won't be signing with the Cubs in free agency.

"He’s not signing here," Bryant told reporters at Cubs Convention on Friday evening.

All signs have pointed to the Cubs not being involved in the Harper sweepstakes, though reports have nonetheless persisted that Chicago is monitoring the situation and could be lurking, ready to pounce with an offer at the end. The Cubs have cited some financial constraints in their lack of serious interest in Harper.

The fact that so few teams across the baseball landscape have seriously pursued Harper and fellow premier free agent Manny Machado is perplexing to Bryant.

"It's weird, really weird," Bryant said. "Two of the best players in the game and they have very little interest in them just from what I hear. It's not good. I think it's something that, it's going to have to change. I know a lot of the other players are pretty upset about it. I don't know. We'll see how it goes. We still have another month left. But it is slow for sure."

Theo Epstein on Cubs' quiet offseason: 'Don't think we're done'

The Nationals and Phillies are the only two teams publicly known to seriously be pursuing Harper now, though the White Sox were plenty interested before shifting their sights onto Machado. The Phillies, White Sox and Yankees are the three teams tied to Machado.

Asked for the reason for the limited interest in them, Bryant was quick to weigh in.

"Not enough teams trying to be competitive," Bryant said. "There's a lot of teams out there that have the money to spend, but they're not doing it. It's just very confusing to me. If I was an owner, president or GM, I would love to have Bryce Harper or Manny Machado on my team. Just playing against them, they're very frustrating to play against. They're some of the best talent out there, and it seems like there's only a few teams that really want them.

"Putting myself in his shoes, I feel like you work for that moment in your career and you're two of the best talents in the game. You know that. You know that every team should want you. I'm putting myself in their shoes. And for them to not have that, I mean, it could be disheartening for them. I know they're making plenty of money and it's not about the greed or any of that, I just feel like they've put in the work to warrant contracts that are worthy of them. They just don't have it yet."

Despite saying Harper wouldn't be joining the Cubs, Bryant also added he doesn't get himself involved much in asking about it.

"That's his business," Bryant said. "It's a good time for him and his family, and I'm not going to be another one of the guys asking him where he's going to sign. I'm happy for him though. He seems to be enjoying it. It's nice to have all that attention on you."