As Bryce Harper and his Washington Nationals host the 2018 All-Star game, the star outfielder is preparing for what will be the most lucrative free agency in professional sports history.
Unlikely to sign an extension with Washington prior to the start of free agency this winter, the 25-year-old Harper could very well demand a contract that will pay him $500 million in cold hard cash.
If so, the number of teams interested in the six-time All-Star will be limited to large markets. Previous reports suggested that includes the San Francisco Giants.
Now, according to San Francisco Chronicle beat writer John Shea, the Giants are fully prepared to go all in for Harper this winter. There is, however, one hiccup.
“I think they are going to be all in and I think they are probably going to be either outbid or outmanned,” Shea said, via KNBR. “In other words, there’s going be a team that’s winning more now and doesn’t have an older squad, maybe an older coaching staff that might not be around for this entire duration with his new team.”
That’s the crux of the issue. San Francisco is on the outside looking in when it comes to the National League Playoff race heading into the second half of the season. Other teams that might show interest in Harper and have the ability to offer him the Brinks Truck are more competitive. That includes the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Clearly, Harper has proven himself to be among the game’s best players. Whether a down 2018 season will impact his market this winter remains to be seen. After all, he’s hitting just .214 on the season.
San Francisco is said to be looking for that franchise-altering talent that can take it into the future. Harper certainly is that guy. And as a Vegas native, Northern California is much closer to his hometown than most of the teams bandied about as potential suitors.
In any event, it’s definitely something to keep an eye on as the MLB season wraps up over the next few months and free agency begins.