With the 2018 season now over, one of the biggest storylines this offseason will be where will Washington Nationals free agent slugger Bryce Harper end up next year and how much will he command. It could be as much up to $400 million in his contract. That’s a lot of moolah. However, as a free agent, he will be highly coveted by many teams this offseason and it will be fun to see where he lands. So let’s take a look at where are possible destinations for him.
Yes, the place that drafted him and he has played for since his rookie year in 2012, is seemingly a top destination for Harper. Why? Because he loves it there and he is beloved by the fans. And another thing to mention is that the team has a bundle of talent. 2018 might have been a disappointing season, but the team has so much talent that they could be a force to be reckoned with for the coming years. Him coming back to the Nationals might actually be beneficial for both sides as they both clearly want to win a championship and that would be very realistic if he did. Now, it’s up to the front office on whether they want to shell out that much money to him (which they very much seemingly want to as he rejected an extension from them for $400 million). Otherwise, the Nationals are my favorites to sign him again.
Believe it or not, this team might actually be one of the better fits for Harper to sign with. A young, but super talented team that is a year away from doing big things, Harper would be a nice big bat for a team of future superstars. Harper also hits very well up in Philadelphia at Citizen’s Bank Ballpark which would mean that he boosts their offense really well. Lot’s of people have tabbed them as the favorite, but I can’t see him going to Philadelphia with all the fans there who loathe him.
The Cubs have been long favored to to sign Harper because of the young core they have and also his relationship with childhood friend Kris Bryant, but I can’t necessarily see him going there. Yes, playing on the same team as Bryant would be great for him, but he doesn’t fit their scheme very well. Manager Joe Maddon likes players who are incredibly versatile, something Harper lacks (yes, he can play all three outfield positions, but he’s realistically a primary right fielder) and they already have a rightfielder who is an elite defender in Jason Heyward. Yes, he would make their offense tremendously better considering the struggles they had in 2018, but he doesn’t fit in well with the Cubs.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are always known to be big spenders and with as big of a contract that Harper will likely want, you know they will shell out that money for him. While it would be a great place for him to play, I find it hard that he will fit anywhere in Dave Roberts roster especially with the already exorbitant amount of depth on Los Angeles’ team. Had it not been for that reason, he would fit in well unless someone gets traded. However, you should keep a close eye on what they do with him. They could very well land him.
New York Yankees
Another team that always shells out a lot of money, they probably would be willing to shell out the dough if they want to sign Harper. The Yankees, however, have an already talented outfield that really doesn’t need him unless they trade one of them, so it wouldn’t make sense for him to go to New York. He theoretically could fit in the team if Giancarlo Stanton and him switch off playing at designated hitter or in left field. I just can’t see it working here. Also, reports have said that they are not likely to chase after him either.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels seemingly always go after the big names in the offseason (Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton come to mind), however, this would be the biggest splash as that would mean both Mike Trout and Harper could possibly play on the same team as they are seen as the two players in the conversation for best player in baseball. Believe it or not, he does fit in well there as he can play left field and can also be the designated hitter. I look at them as being a dark horse to sign Harper.
Chicago White Sox
The only reason why I have the Pale Hose on here is because there is a recent report that they will try and go after him (as well as Manny Machado). They are currently in rebuild mode, but with a young core of prospects just on cusp of breaking through to the majors like Eloy Jimenez, and some that are already there like Yoan Moncada, it might be enticing for Harper to join them as they look to be a legitimate contender in a couple of years. Adding Harper would speed up their rebuild. He also would fit in well with the team. While not likely to sign with them, the White Sox might be a team to watch in the Harper sweepstakes