This weekend’s snow storm Harper is set to blast the north east with a flurry of snow that will have most hiding inside their home and binge watching Netflix until it passes. But that doesn’t mean the MLB free agency market will subside and there is another Harper that has been waiting to settle down.
Let’s be honest, we have all been waiting for this offseason like little kids at the candy store. Bryce Harper was once dubbed the “Chosen One” when he was 16-year-old kid at Las Vegas High School in Nevada and graced the cover of Sports Illustrated for the first time. Now, he is in the midst of his first free agency offseason and he is milking the absolute shit out of it.
Everyone is waiting to see where this 26-year-old man child is going to land and I am currently one of them. He’s one of those guys who can legitimately change the direction of a franchise as soon as he puts pen to paper and with some of the rumors I’ve been hearing/reading, it could be bad for the rest of the league no matter where he lands.
We’re talking about a guy who absolutely crushes, plays his heart out, and can change the momentum of a game with one swing of the bat. To add to that, did I mention he’s only 26-years-old? He might be just reaching in his prime in the next season or two. He didn’t have the greatest year in 2018, but he got walked a league-high 130 times and still drove in 100 runs and hit 34 home runs. He’s a talent that a lot of teams want, but only a few can afford.
At the moment, I’ve heard/read that the Washington Nationals are at the top of the list in terms of how much money they have offered him, somewhere around 300 million over 10 years.
THAT’S A LOT OF DOUGHHHH. 🤑
But, it is rumored that the offer doesn’t include any options, both on the player or the team side. So, either way it’s an offer for a player who is looking to make north of that figure.
To be honest, that figure is the only real number I’ve heard of from any team that Harper is considering. Most of those numbers have not been reported, but given the current dialogue that is out there, there are definitely a few teams interested. Here are a few teams who I believe has the best chance of signing him.
The Philadelphia Phillies
In my opinion, the Phillies are the most intriguing of the bunch. They finished just two games below .500 this past season, going 80-82, and they already seem to be on a spending spree this offseason. They brought in David Robertson on a two-year contract to bolster the bullpen and they also signed former Pittsburgh Pirate Andrew McCutchen to a three-year deal. Let’s not forget they also brought in shortstop Jean Segura and two pitchers from the Mariners as well.
To add to that, a report came out around 9 p.m. Thursday evening that Phillies Manager Gabe Kapler said he “hit it off” with Bryce Harper during their meeting in Las Vegas.
“We just hit it off,” Kapler said Thursday on MLB Network. “He’s an easy guy to talk to and he certainly is especially competitive.”
In the ESPN report, Kapler went on to add that they bonded over the food scene in Philadelphia as well as their extreme competitiveness. Could the Phillies be a new front runner for Bryce Harper’s talents?
The New York Yankees
This might be a stretch, but you honestly can’t count out the Yankees when a player like Harper is involved. One day i’ll read they are in and then the next day I’ll read they are out. Just for a second though, imagine a lineup that has Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Bryce Harper stepping to the plate, one after the other. Plus, they have a roster loaded with young talent that can bunt, run, and get around the bases. Sounds pretty dangerous to me.
I think the amount of talent they have will impair their ability to sign Harper in the end though. They have too much talent tied to way too much money to give Harper the amount of coin that he wants. So, unless they make a significant move in the near future to create some cap space, I think Bryce Harper in pinstripes is a long shot. THANK GOD.
The Chicago Cubs
This is going to be a short paragraph, but just for the sake of clearing things up I wanted to put it in here. Bryce Harper and World Series MVP Kris Bryant went to high school together, they played little league together, they are great friends and so are their wives. Because of that, the Cubs were seen as a favorite to land Harper this offseason, but there won’t be a high school reunion in Chicago and Joe Maddon pretty much guaranteed it.
When asked at an event this past Tuesday about the Cubs chances of signing Harper, Maddon simply said.
“Not going to happen.”
Well, that’s that Cubbies. Sorry.
The Chicago White Sox
Now that the North Side of Chicago is out of the mix, what about the South Side? The White Sox have been trying to bring in a superstar this offseason. They are in conversations with Manny Machado and the latest offer to the 26-year-old shortstop is said to be around a 7-year, $175 million-dollar deal.
Where that leaves them with Harper is an unknown at the moment. But earlier in December, ESPN Reporter Tim Kurkjian did list the White Sox in the top 3 teams for Harper. A lot can change in a month, but the White Sox should still be considered as a team in the running. They have the money to spend and they have several young players that could turn them into a playoff contender this season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers
I felt like this list would be incomplete if I didn’t include the Dodgers. They made a HUGE salary dump earlier this offseason, trading the contracts of Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, and Alex Wood to the Reds. I believe that move instantly put them in the running for Harper’s talents. They have the cap space and they are a big market team that has a good chance of returning to the World Series. Los Angeles was good enough for Lebron, will it be good enough for Harper? We’ll find out.