He came in with a lot of hype. He delivered right from the get go. He battled injuries last year. And here he is, on the cusp of becoming possibly the richest free agent in baseball history, leading the majors in home runs. Bryce Harper isn’t signed beyond 2018 – and it boggles my mind how this isn’t THE story daily throughout the 2018 baseball season.
2019 Free Agent Bryce Harper
Not even 26 years old until October, there’s nothing that Bryce Harper can’t do on the baseball field. He’s likable off the field and he’s clutch on it. But with the Washington Nationals struggling mightily so far this season, could Harper’s mind be wondering about playing in a different market next season?
The question is how much is enough to lock him up? Clearly, Harper will want to go somewhere he’ll have a chance to compete for a World Series most seasons. For their part, the Nats have choked in the playoffs. All we know for sure if that we cannot foresee him re-signing during the season. There’s really no advantage to it. Nope, Bryce will no doubt wait until the offseason and entertain as many offers as possible.
To me, Harper won’t go for anything less than 30 million a year for 10 years, ruling out most markets at that price tag. But the New Yorks, Bostons, Chicagos and Los Angeleses of the world will clearly open their wallets for this gem of a player.
Harper’s skill set and marketability are rare on the open market. Other than Mike Trout with the Angels, no one has accomplished what he has over the last half-a-decade.
I don’t have any prediction as to where Harper will go. But I am absolutely shocked that baseball writers aren’t more obsessed with this storyline. Something tells me that as the weather heats up, so too will this hot topic.
Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He’s also a contributor to ESPN 101.3 Plattsburgh/Burlington. Follow him @MatthewWords.