Cubs

Sorry, Cubs fans: Bryce Harper admits Kris Bryant post, hashtag was just a troll job

Sorry, Cubs fans: Bryce Harper admits Kris Bryant post, hashtag was just a troll job

Who knows what Bryce Harper will do when he becomes a free agent after the 2018 season? Bryce himself doesn't, even if his own social media post last month seemed to be dropping hints.

Harper's Instagram post during the Cubs-Nationals series went viral when he posed for a picture with friend Kris Bryant and their wives, using the hashtag, "#Back2BackOneDay." 

Whether Harper, a Rookie of the Year, MVP and perennial All-Star winds up in Chicago remains to be seen. But that Instagram post? Just some fun trolling.

“I do that to the media because they stir it more than I do," Harper told The Washington Post. "That’s why I do the things I do at times, because it’s funny to me. It’s like, ‘All right, people want to talk about this and talk about that. Why not just throw this out there and make them think about it?’ ”

Thanks for keeping us honest, Bryce. It wasn't the first time Harper had been linked to the Cubs. Longtime baseball writer Peter Gammons told 670 The Score that "I have people tell me that Bryce Harper really would prefer to play for the Cubs."

As for that? Harper told The Post "I love Peter Gammons. One of the best baseball historians ever. But I have no idea what the hell he's talking about."

Until then, continue to speculate. It's more fun anyway.

Cardinals meet with Keuchel and Ryu as they look to fill out rotation, per report

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USA TODAY

Cardinals meet with Keuchel and Ryu as they look to fill out rotation, per report

The Cardinals met with the representatives of free agent starters Dallas Keuchel and Hyun-Jin Ryu at the Winter Meetings this week, according to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi.

St. Louis has an opening in their rotation, as longtime Cardinal Michael Wacha agreed to a one-year deal with the Mets Wednesday. They could address that vacancy internally, with candidates including Carlos Martinez, Alex Reyes, Austin Gomber and Daniel Ponce de Leon. Each comes with questions, however.

Martinez has dealt with shoulder problems the past two seasons and underwent a "small procedure" to address soreness in October. He moved to the bullpen in August 2018 as a result and was the Cardinals closer last season.

Reyes was once a top Cardinals prospect, but he’s pitched in just 17 games (six starts) since his 2016 — his rookie campaign. He underwent season-ending surgery in 2017 (Tommy John) and 2018 (torn lat).

Gomber posted a 4.26 ERA in 11 starts in 2018 while making 18 more appearances in relief. He didn’t pitch in the big leagues last season. Ponce de Leon started eight of his 13 appearances last season, posting a 4.15 ERA out of the rotation.

Keuchel or Ryu would be an upgrade over the uncertainty that comes with the four aforementioned candidates. Keuchel isn’t an annual Cy Young Award contender, but he holds a 3.77 ERA in 102 starts since winning the award with the Astros in 2015.

Ryu won the National League ERA title (2.32) with the Dodgers last season and holds a career 2.98 ERA in 126 games (125 starts). He’s dealt with a fair share of injuries in his career and underwent surgery on a torn left labrum in 2015. Teams will be wary of Ryu’s injury-riddled past, but he’s a frontline starter when healthy.

The Cardinals rotation is currently made up of Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, Adam Wainwright and Dakota Hudson.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Are the Cubs are starting from scratch?

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Are the Cubs are starting from scratch?

The crew wraps up the week for the Cubs on the final day of the Winter Meetings in San Diego

David Kaplan and Tony Andracki are joined by MLB Pipeline writer Jim Callis to discuss the Cubs trying to replenish the farm system that is barren (1:30).

They also talk about some potential deals the Cubs could make and the returns by trading catcher Wilson Contreras (7:20), or former MVP Kris Bryant (14:30).

Listen to the episode here or in the embedded player below.

Cubs Talk Podcast

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