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Dodgers Listed As Top Two Favorites to Sign Bryce Harper

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April 21, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) watches as fans react after Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger (35) hits a two run home run in the eighth inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Oddsmakers have a way of getting fans excited for things that aren’t even close to happening yet. And don’t you know it, they’ve done it again. Bovada came out with early odds on signing impending free agent Bryce Harper in the offseason, and the list looks about how you might expect. The Dodgers rank second in odds at signing the superstar.

The list of potential free agents in the upcoming offseason is jaw-dropping, Names like Kershaw, Machado, Heyward, Price, and Keuchel top the list. Bryce Harper may be one of the biggest names out there though, and he is not in an opt-out year, he is actually at the end of his contract. Harper’s 3.1 WAR ranks higher than any other outfielder on the 2019 free agent list.

The Cubs make the most sense for Harper, given his close friendship with Kris Bryant. If Jason Heyward uses his opt-out after 2018, the Harper is almost certain to end up in Chicago. He likely will not though, as leaving $100m+ in guaranteed money is fairly risk heading into his age-29 season.

The Dodgers could also be a fit for Harper, but mostly just because they have the money to pay him. The outfield situation looks to be crowded for the foreseeable future until Yasiel Puig is eligible for free agency in 2020. Of course, the team could make room for him if they absolutely wanted him. They might be able to find a team willing to take on Matt Kemp and some money for a prospect or two. That would likely leave Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, and Bryce Harper as the everyday outfielders.

The question is, do fans want him? Harper has his own style of play that many around baseball aren’t too crazy about. But he also brings with him 25+ home runs a year and a career .279/.288/.513 slash line. He isn’t exactly finishing out his contract year strong hitting .247, but he’s managed to hit 34 home runs.

Outlook

Free agent odds always seem somewhat arbitrary and often a little bit weird, but this list is actually probably pretty accurate. There are plenty of things that will impact those odds between now and the end of the season. Teams may sign other players before him, and contract offers could come out of the woodwork. Players that have opt-outs may not even exercise them. Keep an eye on the Dodgers and what they do with Clayton Kershaw, Yasmani Grandal, Brian Dozier, and Manny Machado. Those four will certainly play a role in the Dodgers decision making in regards to Harper.

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

6 Comments

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  1. ” That would likely leave Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, and Bryce Harper as the everyday outfielders.”

    But you are leaving out where do you place Bellinger and Muncy.

  2. what about Corey Seager’s return ? If the Dodgers sign Machado, where does he or Corey play ? Of course we need another reliable hitting outfielder. Obviously Joc Peterson or Puig are not the answer.

  3. There’s little chance of the Dodger’s signing Harper. There are a few reasons, but first and foremost is his attitude. He is a cancer and it’s widely known around the league. Roberts has created a very family like clubhouse on purpose. For those who haven’t played the game, chemistry is nearly as important as talent. As a Dodger’s fan I will be very surprised, but even more so disappointed if he comes to LA

  4. What happens to Verdugo? I believe that he is ready…he seems to always make solid contact and I love his plate discipline…

  5. I agree with all of you. The Dodgers shouldn’t sign Harper because 1.They don’t need another outfielder
    2. His personality is not a good fit
    3. They need to spend that money at 2b and catcher
    4. Smart teams don’t spend the money just because they have it. Did this writer really say that?! Dumb!

  6. Ryan said it best about Harper. I would add that if the dodgers do not pay Kershaw whatever is necessary to keep him for the rest of his career, I am done with them, and I hope many lifelong fans follow me.

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