There was a time when the Chicago Cubs appeared to be the front-runners for Bryce Harper. Now, it appears he won't be playing for the Cubs 2019. What might be even more frustrating to Cubs fans about another team getting the best outfielder on the market, is that it's not because he necessarily prefers to play for another team. It looks as though Chicago is simply not going to be willing to pay what the outfielder is looking for. More reports are surfacing every day that the Cubs are going to be extremely thrifty with their spending and that picking up the option for Cole Hamels is going to be their big move of the offseason.

Cubs looking to save a little cash in the offseason

Bleacher Nation is one of the main sites sounding the alarm about what Theo Epstein and the rest of this front office is going to spend this year. The problem is that the Cubs have been at, or near, the top luxury tax tier for the last few years. Spending that kind of money has made sense, as they thought they were going to bring home multiple trips to the World Series. The Cubs, of course, did win one World Series and had appeared in three straight National League championship series. This past season was a major step back from that level of success.

The club not only didn't make the NLCS, but it also didn't make it out of the Wild Card round.

That was thanks, in large part, to a bit of a fold job that saw them lose the division on the last day of the regular season. It looks like, the step back in achievements, by the Chicago Cubs, on the field, might mean a bit of a step back when it comes to the front office, and the money they are willing to throw at players.

McCutcheon replacing Harper on Cubs wish list?

With Bryce Harper possibly looking for the biggest contract in MLB history, Chicago is going to have to look elsewhere to upgrade their outfield. The website MLB Trade Rumors believes Theo Epstein will be turning his attention to former Pirates and Giants outfielder Andrew McCutcheon.

That might be very good news for Chicago Cubs fans if he is the outfielder that once won an MVP award. He's quite a ways removed from that particular level of play. He did hit a total of 20 homers with the Giants and New York Yankees last year, but he's not generating a great batting average anymore. He's also lost most of the speed that made him such a dangerous opponent for all those years in Pittsburgh. He could be a frustrating consolation prize for quite a few Cubs fans in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes.