WASHINGTON — Bryce Harper linked arms with childhood friend Kris Bryant for an Instagram photo that’s since lit fan bases of both the Nationals and Cubs abuzz with speculation.
It wasn’t the photo itself which raised alarm bells, as baseball fanatics are more than aware of the Harper-Bryant connection — childhood teammates, they even received keys to their hometown of Las Vegas together in Dec. 2015.
It was the hashtag Harper chose: #Back2BackOneDay
Was Harper alluding to playing with Bryant in the Major Leagues one day? Would that involve Harper joining the Cubs, Bryant joining the Nats, or both joining forces in another city altogether?
The timing is curious. Harper’s tantalizing post comes less than a month removed from Peter Gammons telling Chicago’s 670 The Score he’s been told “Bryce Harper really would prefer to play for the Cubs.”
Harper, who remains under Washington team control through the 2018 season, will reach free agency long before Bryant, whom the Cubs control through the 2021 season. Imagining them on the same roster may require imagining a team paying to keep two $400-plus-million players.
One day, perhaps we’ll have answers.