The Los Angeles Dodgers have been connected to Bryce Harper through rumor for weeks. Now, those rumors are beginning to become a little more concrete.
Ken Rosenthal has a report over at The Athletic, and when Ken comes whistling on something; it’s as close to legitimate as one can hope for. Consider this the most comprehensive, up-to-date Harper to Los Angeles update we have as of press time.
From @Ken_Rosenthal: The 2019-20 free agent class might be more attractive to clubs than this year’s; the chances of the Yankees trading Andújar; where Tulowitzki could go next; and more notes from around MLB https://t.co/Sri2svIiYF
— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) December 17, 2018
Moreover, Rosenthal reports that the Dodgers interest in Harper is very real. However, it comes with a couple conditions:
- The Dodgers want Harper on a shorter, less than record setting contract.
- Los Angeles prefers a shorter deal with high average salary per year.
- This type of contract would create luxury tax issues for the team in 2019.
Here is what Rosenthal said exactly:
The Dodgers are widely rumored to be in on Harper, but the reality, according to major-league sources, is that they do not want him on a long-term, record-setting contract. A short-term deal with a high average salary and opt-outs might hold more appeal, but such an agreement likely would create luxury-tax issues for the Dodgers in 2019, and the team already has too many outfielders.
Then, one might wonder if Bryce Harper is interested in the Dodgers. Much is out there about his supposed interest in playing in the City of Angels. A friend of Dodgers Nation Michael Duarte tweeted that from what he hears, the interest is mutual.
There's definitely mutual interest.
— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) December 16, 2018
Equally important is Harper’s interest – he might be willing to tell Scott Boras he will play for less than a record-setting contract if he feels like he’s in a place he wants to be. Furthermore, it would give Harper an instant chance to start winning championships and start playing for his next contract.
We will continue to update this storyline as it builds in the coming weeks and months. For right now, the Dodgers look to be in the driver’s seat as much as anyone in regards to the pursuit of Bryce Harper. It’s simply a matter of the two sides coming to a deal that makes the most sense for each party involved. Win-win business is the best type of business. Both sides surely understand that.
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