Will Bryce Harper be a Dodger? #illumedati

Hey everyone, it’s Whatever Wednesdays again. Today is kind of a random post about my thoughts on the question “Will Bryce Harper be a Dodger?”

By Keith Allison – Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Will Bryce Harper be a Dodger?

Well, if you don’t know, Bryce Harper is a young slugger free agent this year who was with the Washington Nationals. The two hottest free agents this off season were Manny Machado (who just signed a 10 year, $300 million deal) and Bryce Harper.

Just so we’re clear, Bryce Harper already turned down a 10 year $300 million from the Washington Nationals. The truth of the matter is that Bryce probably doesn’t want to be in DC anymore and that may be because he lives in Las Vegas. (This becomes important later)

Who’s chasing him?

Reportedly, the Philadelphia Phillies have been flush with cash this offseason and have been chasing Bryce relentlessly. There are rumors of 10 year $350 million contracts being thrown around, but Bryce hasn’t accepted them. In fact, there are other rumors of Bryce and his “super agent” Scott Boras not seeing eye to eye on the contract.

The easiest explanation for this would be that his agent Scott Boras, wants him to take the most lucrative guaranteed deal which is probably around a 10 year $350 million deal. While there may be opt outs and such, it’s the “safest” bet in terms of money. Obviously, as his agent, Scott Boras would have guaranteed himself money as well from such an agreement.

That said, humans are humans. It seems like Bryce wants to be closer to his family in Las Vegas. For this reason, being in Southern California would make a lot more sense for him.

So Los Angeles then?

Yea, if this is truly his concern, then he would be looking at the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Just so we’re clear, the Angels don’t have any money to even try to get Bryce, so they’re out.

So then it all falls on the Dodgers – who don’t do long term deals. Honestly, I don’t think the Dodgers don’t want to do anymore than a 3 year deal. However, for Bryce Harper they may make an exception. The Dodgers have always been very creative in their contract negotiations, going beyond just years x money, opt ins, and opt outs.

Like what?

For example, Kenta Maeda has a lot of interesting incentive based numbers in his contract. In 2016, his base salary was $3 million, but he earned $7.25 in incentives, bringing his total yearly salary to $10.25 million.

I think that the wizards over the Dodgers can come up with a 5 year deal that will make Bryce happy. However, it will need to be the highest Average Annual Value (AAV) ever. For example, Machado’s AAV is $300 million over 10 years, so it sits at $30 million AAV.

The most recent high profile signing and current highest AAV (for a position player) is Nolan Arenado who just re-signed with the Colorado Rockies which is $33.4 million. The contract is $26 million for the current season and $234 million for the remaining seven years with an opt out clause after the first three years.

Honestly, the main reason the Dodgers are even in play for Bryce right now are because Nolan Arenado re-signed with the Rockies. If Arenado had decided to be a free agent in 2020, the Dodgers probably would have been all-in on him.

So what’s the final word?

I think the Dodgers will figure out a way to sign Bryce Harper for something like this:

5 year $175 million contract with an AAV of $35 million.

or if they somehow can convince him to go so less years:

3 year $120 million contract with an AAV of $40 million.

There will be opt ins and opt outs on both sides. There may even be some incentive based structure in place as well or some fancy clauses in place to keep team and player happy. However, I think that will make both sides happy in the long run.

What do you think?

I’m conflicted. I’m optimistic, but also a little sad.

Obviously, if the Dodgers add Bryce Harper than their outfield becomes one of the scariest around. You’d probably have Cody Bellinger in right, AJ Pollock in center, and Bryce Harper in left.

However, if they acquire Bryce Harper they will almost assuredly trade Joc Pederson and/or Alex Verdugo since they have too many outfielders.

Then, it would put them in a bind for 2020 when it comes time to negotiate other contracts since Bryce Harper eats up a lot of their available money. This may require trading away even more of my favorite players.

I just hope Bryce Harper is worth it.

Whatever you do, don’t trade my boy Max Muncy!


Will Bryce Harper be a Dodger?

Just my thoughts and prediction.

Don’t trade my boy Max Muncy!

Whatever Wednesdays Sensei


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