When Bryce Harper made his MLB debut for the Nationals in 2012, no one expected how quickly he would etch his name into the halls of DC baseball lore. Each game he starts sees fans converge from around the eastern seaboard to National’s Park, sporting his name and number and breathing life to a franchise that had struggled to find it’s footing since its reemergence in 2005.
In fact, for most people, you either love Harper or you hate him. Many have refused to buy into the hype, with one unnamed National League executive telling writer Robert Murray of FRS Baseball that, “If he gets more than 10 years, $300 million, I’d be surprised. I would not give him 10 years period and certainly not at that AAV. He’s just not worth it. He’s a selfish, losing player.”
Whether or not the team has carried him this far is certainly up for debate, but what’s not is the draw that Harper brings to DC. And no matter who he signs with in free agency, he is sure to be a polarizing figure both on and off the field. Below we examine just a few of the options that await Harper as the 2018 season nears its midway point.
#1. Chicago Cubs
Harper has been a lifelong friend of 3rd baseman Kris Bryant, so it’s fairly easy to imagine that Harper would not have many reservations about moving to the windy city if the price was right. We know that Chicago has the money to pay players they think will make the right impact on the roster, having forked out $126 million to Yu Darvish when he became a free agent earlier this year. MLB.com writer Mark Feinsand wrote that the only obstacle he foresees barring this transaction would be Jason Heyward’s $106 Million contract to play right field through 2023.
#2. LA Dodgers
It should come as no surprise to anyone that Harper would enjoy being back on the west coast, and playing in LA would mean his was only a short drive from his childhood home in Las Vegas. On top of all that, the Dodgers are the most likely to meet Harper at whatever astronomical asking price he comes up with, and the organization has been very forthright about staying under the salary cap in 2018, giving them just about $100 million to spend on any number of top tier players coming to free agency. This seems like the most plausible option of all, and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts would easily be able to stick Harper into the lineup for a perfect fit in the outfield.
What uniform do you think Bryce Harper will be rocking when he steps onto the field in 2019? Tell us in the comments below, and don’t forget to follow us for more updates!