HERE WE GO! We have reports surfacing that the Dodgers are back in on the Bryce Harper Sweepstakes! The premise of any deal would be a short contract with high average annual value. Recently, the Harper camp had sent word out that a short term deal wasn’t an option, but the new rumor involving the Dodgers would nullify that.
Assuming the new report is legit, this is an interesting plan of attack for the Dodgers who’s outfield is already set. The Dodgers have already signed A.J. Pollock to replace the traded Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig. Signing Harper would most certainly make either Joc Pederson or Cody Bellinger available for a trade. Much of the early offseason was spent linking the Dodgers and their young outfield to numerous starting pitchers and Harper signing would definitely kick those rumors into a reality.
Putting the Dodgers aside, if Harper is talking short term with LA, then I hope other contenders are hopping in to the sweepstakes. Any team that thinks their roster is already playoff worthy should be sliding into those DMs to see if they can entice the lefty slugger to join the middle of their lineup for two or three years.
I’m sure most teams would bring up the luxury tax as an excuse to not get involved with Harper, but the Dodgers have decided that a championship is more important than a luxury tax and I think that’s an approach more of the league should take. Teams like Houston, St. Louis, Boston, the Cubs, Milwaukee, and both New York teams should all be checking in to see if he’s willing to be the final piece to their championship puzzle, especially if Harper is willing to play first or DH.
Adding Harper to any of those lineups makes the team better. Even Boston would see an increase in wins if Harper was willing to play first base for them. It’s not known what the AAV would have to be for Harper to sign a short term deal, but if he’s truly willing to consider it, then I hope we see more contenders throwing the luxury tax to the wind and giving themselves an improved championship shot like the Dodgers are.
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