With the MLB season just under two months away, there are still plenty of frustrated stars unsigned in free agency. One of those superstars is 26-year old outfielder Bryce Harper.
With the 2018-19 free agency being pretty dull thus far, everyone has been following the free agency of the former Washington Nationals star. With many people believing Harper could possibly get a $400 million dollar deal this off-season. Even after coming off a disappointing year, the right fielder still hit 34 home runs and finished with a very sold 100 RBI’s.
Harper will bring exceptional power into the middle of any lineup he is put in. Giving a player $300-$400 million in guaranteed is money is definitely risky, but if Harper can stay healthy, then it’s worth the risk.
So, let’s take a look at the top three teams in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes as we rapidly approach Spring Training.
The Top Three Teams in the Bryce Harper Sweepstakes
At the moment, it seems as though the Phillies are the favorites to sign Harper. They entered the offseason with loads of cash, and were said to be looking to spend “stupid amounts of money.”
If the Phillies were to sign Harper, it would make them immediate contenders, if not the favorites in a what should be a competitive NL East. Both the Braves and Mets have improved their roster this offseason, but this just might put the Phillies on top. It could also help the Phillies increase their attendance which has been oddly down the last few years.
Let’s also all remember just how hitter friendly the confines of Citizens Bank Park are. If Harper does sign there, many believe he will have 50 home run potential. You have to figure this could factor into his decision somehow. Also the fact that the Phillies will potentially offer a $400 million will definitely appeal to Harper. Don’t be surprised if he signs in Philly sooner rather than later.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are coming off their second straight World Series loss and will look to make it back and finally get over the hump in 2019. Signing a star in Bryce Harper would be huge for LA regarding their hopes of making another World Series run.
The Dodgers traded away their right fielder and fan-favorite Yasiel Puig to the Cincinnati Reds on December 21st, 2018. Many believed with trading Puig away and having a salary dump trade to the Reds, that would open up the opportunity to go after Bryce Harper.
But the Dodgers surprised some and signed outfielder A.J. Pollock instead. Many believed that signing A.J. Pollock put the Dodgers out of the Bryce Harper sweepstakes. But even with this move, the Dodgers still have money to spend and don’t be surprised if you see Bryce Harper’s name on the back of a Dodgers uniform.
This is probably the most logical choice if Harper doesn’t sign with Philadelphia or Los Angeles. This has been Harper’s home his whole career. The Nationals drafted him with the first overall pick in 2010, some I’m sure there is a special place in his heart for that organization.
The Nationals have already showing interest in retaining the star, offering him a 10 year, $300 million deal, though he declined. Taking that into consideration, Harper will probably have no problem walking away from Washington if it means more money elsewhere.
However, as free agency drags on the Nat’s may look to jump back into the market. If Harper’s stock goes down any this late in the offseason, the Nationals will probably become the front runner to resign their superstar outfielder.