Free agent Bryce Harper..
Where will Bryce Harper land? Here is the latest….
The biggest question of the MLB free agency period is where star outfielder Bryce Harper will end up. A few days ago, the top odds as to where he would sign went to the Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels.
Since then the list has diminished somewhat to the top three of the Phillies, Dodgers and Cubs, although others such as the Yankees still cannot be discounted as players in the “sign Bryce Harper” game.
For the Phillies, from the get-go, they have announced that they would pay “stupid money” this free agency period, with the names Manny Machado and Harper at the top of the list. Having already signed Andrew McCutchen doesn’t mean the Phillies are less interested in Harper. The thought of Harper joining Hoskins and McCutchen would give the Phillies arguably one of the top middle 3-4-5 combos in the National League.
It’s clear the Phillies are determined to land either Machado or Harper or both. Those in favour the Phillies landing Harper think the Phillies desperately need that power hitting lefty in a predominantly right-handed hitting lineup. On the flip side, Machado would not only provide power, but defence to the worst defensive team in the National League last season.
With the amount the Phillies are likely willing to spend, they remain tops on the list to land Harper.
In Los Angeles, trade rumors involving outfielder Yasiel Puig have surface, raising eyebrows that they are willing to find a spot in the outfield for a talent like Harper. Being they are luxury tax at the moment, the Dodgers have the money to spend, should they choose to do so.
Even though Harper and the Dodgers appear to have mutual interest, a stumbling block prevents Los Angeles from being the favorites. The Dodgers are interest in a high initial salary but a shorter contract than the long-term deal that Harper will likely command.
In Chicago, the Cubs were on top of the list to land Harper before the start of the off season. There has been very little word since then, which is likely due to the fact that the Cubs have to pay Jason Heyward and high priced pitchers costing the team over 20 million dollars each.
The idea of Harper playing with his friend Kris Bryant is appealing to both sides, however it means it’s less likely to sign Bryant to a contract extension down the road. In addition, the Cubs will be facing opening their wallets to the likes of Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber in the not too distant future.
Let’s not forget the New York Yankees, who are always a possibility. It appears to be dream of most to put on the blue pinstripes. However, the Yankees have said that they’re out of the bidding. The thing is, IF the Yankees really want Harper, they have the money and the manoeuvrability available in the outfield, to get him.
As for now, the whereabouts for Harper remain to be seen. It’s a long ride that will likely continue for the near future.
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