With the Washington Nationals finishing the 2018 season a mere two games over .500 at 82-80, there will be questions over what moves the franchise will make this off-season. To become a true contending team, and compete for a World Series title, a reshuffle is necessary.
Bryce Harper’s Future in the League
Potential Destinations for Harper
One of the players who won’t be eligible to trade will be Nationals and MLB superstar Bryce Harper. With the Nationals finishing a disappointing season in Harper’s final year on his contract, it will be unlikely that he decides to return to Washington for his next big deal.
It has been evident that Harper would want a move away from the D.C. based franchise. So, it’s likely we’ll see the talented outfielder signing with another major league team, most probably a contending team.
Some of the rumored teams to be in for Harper are the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees. These two teams have rosters close to reaching their potentials. The Chicago Cubs might also make a run at Harper. The 2016 World Series champions maintain a competitive roster with the likes of Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, and Kris Bryant. But a move for Harper would skyrocket the Cubs’ chances of adding another championship. Lastly, the other destination which is possible is Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Phillies have been rebuilding for some time now and are on the verge of making the post-season. They haven’t achieved this since the 2011 season. Finishing the season 80-82, just two games behind the Nationals in the NL East, adding Harper would propel them over the Nationals. It would allow them to compete with the Atlanta Braves for the division title.
Harper’s Effect on the League
Whichever team that Harper signs with will instantly become a contender. He’s one of those few players in the league that can change a franchise just like that. The 2015 NL MVP, just turned 26, is now in the prime of his career. He will want to spend this part of it on a contending roster and try and get a championship. Flying slightly under the radar this season, on a losing team, Harper was a vital player for the Nationals. He produced a good season this past year. Although he only hit .249, he recorded 34 home runs and in the process was able to record 100 RBI. Harper reached the triple-digit landmark in RBI for the first time in his professional career.
The six-time All-Star has been seen as one of the league’s superstars over the last few years. Along with the likes of Mookie Betts and Mike Trout he is a world-renowned name and his effect on a new team will be more than just a breath of fresh air. He’ll be a star wherever he ends up, and adding him to a roster of one of these contending teams, it will be a wake-up call for the rest of the league.
While teaming up with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in the Bronx or forming a super team with Kris Bryant and co. in Chicago remain the likely teams that suit Harper, there are still others scenarios which could suit him better. But, wherever Harper goes, it’ll mark a new era in his career and in the league, as a whole. He is one of the leading figures in the game of baseball. This move will be important for the future of not just Harper but also the league.
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