Dodgers: Are the Dodgers the Front-Runner for Bryce Harper?

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 7: Bryce Harper
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 7: Bryce Harper /

Fans in Los Angeles will get an up close and personal look at one of the best players in baseball this weekend when Bryce Harper comes to town. In the near future will fans get to see him at Chavez Ravine for 81 games?

The 2019 offseason will feature one of the best free agent classes in baseball history. With so many players in their prime entering free agency at a young age, teams are foaming at the mouth knowing they have the opportunity to sign some of baseballs finest players.

That 2019 class is the reason the Dodgers front office has been adamant about getting and remaining under the salary cap in an effort to reset their tax penalties and give them the shot at a top tier player. The top tier player that should be at the top of their list is former NL MVP, ROY, and 5-time all-star Bryce Harper.

Currently, Harper is not at the top of the list of things to do this offseason. That belongs to Clayton Kershaw. Re-signing the best pitcher in baseball (if he opts out) and make him a lifetime Dodger. Bryce Harper should be right behind Kershaw in terms of priority.

Bryce Harper will be turning 26 this October and has been one of the most polarizing players since his call-up in 2012. He was called up at age 19 and made his debut in Los Angeles. I remember being glued to the TV watching him make his debut.  He whacked a double over the head of then Center Fielder Matt Kemp and proceeded to throw his helmet off while running to show off his soon to be famous hair.

He has been surrounded by hype and all that hype may have set the bar a bit too high. Yet he managed to perhaps surpass that bar in 2015 when he had an unreal season at the ripe young age of 22 and captured his first and only NL MVP thus far.

Many people have issues with him. Whether it’d be his attitude, injuries or they believe he is overrated. To that I say, his talent outweighs any of those factors. When it comes to attitude, he is just very passionate and you can tell by the way he plays. He plays with such passion and fire that would fit any team. Yes at times he can be a bit of a hot head but its cause he is a passionate player.

Injuries happen, especially to a player who plays the way Harper has. With no regard for his health he does anything possible to run a ball down, crashes into walls, dives, you name it he does it. Now the overrated idea is something that is understandable but just not true.

I can understand when the Harper hype train started fans were expecting him to be the best thing since sliced bread. His rookie season was good, not great, same could be said about his sophomore season. Good seasons but not quite the caliber of player you were expecting, but remember those were his age 19 and 20 seasons. Which is ridiculous just to think about.

His third season was one plagued by injury. But it was his fourth season that showed his full potential; mashing 42 bombs while slashing .330/ .460/ .649. He was just 22. The same age Cody Bellinger is right now and he was already in his fourth season. His following season in 2016 was a bit underwhelming, but 2017 he bounced back with a solid year. Now in 2018 he is off to a monster start of the season and is the early front-runner for NL MVP.

Now the question is what would it take to get him and will the Dodgers be willing to dish out that large of a contract. Some experts are saying Harper may very well be the first 400 million dollar man. Which is an absurd amount of cash, but when you hit free agency at a young age and are arguably the second best player in baseball it’s hard to argue against.

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Top bidders will be familiar faces in terms of big spenders. Yankees, Cubs, Dodger, Nationals and maybe the Phillies. But the Yankees already have one big contract in their books and 2 corner outfielders, so maybe they aren’t as big of a threat as they were before acquiring Stanton.

The Cubs spent on Yu Darvish and that could keep them from giving Harper that extra amount of money he is seeking, but Harper’s ties to Bryant are worrisome. But with Rizzo looming as a free agent they might be less enticed to get Harper in an effort to re-sign Rizzo the following season.

The Nationals are the biggest threat. They drafted him and he is the face of that franchise so they will be doing anything necessary to keep him and it is going to be difficult to pry him away from DC.

But, Los Angeles offers a whole lot to the young MVP. He would be much closer to his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada. All the while having the chance to grow with the young core of the Dodgers. Imagine a lineup of Seager-Turner-Harper-Bellinger in the middle of an already deep lineup. That would be a problem for other pitching staffs, to say the least.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Dodger fans give him the same treatment, Laker fans gave Paul George and LeBron James when they came into town.

Next: Kershaw vs Max Scherzer; Who has the advantage?

Bryce Harper might be the most polarizing player since Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. That is the type of talent he is. He is just 25 and already has the experience of a seasoned veteran. If you ask me he still has not hit his prime.

Bryce Harper is a special talent and the Dodgers should do everything they possibly can in order to ensure he won’t just be visiting Los Angeles, he will call it his home.