Dodgers: Bryce Harper Needs the Dodgers More Than They Need Him
The Dodgers and the rest of the baseball world wait, as Bryce Harper continues to negotiate with teams and decide where the Bryce Harper show will land next.
The Dodgers and the rest of the teams in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes continue to sit and wait to see where Harper will take his baseball talents next. For the Dodgers, they made their pitch to Bryce and there really isn’t much they need to say, a storied franchise, rich with money and prospects, in the city of the bright lights and stars.
Bryce Harper needs the Dodgers more than the Dodgers need him. There have been a few rumors that the Dodgers are the team that Harper wants to play for, and of all the teams that are rumored to be interested, the Dodgers are the only team with a shot of winning the World Series. The Phillies are still trying to build themselves into contenders after a second-half collapse, and the White Sox are the furthest of the three clubs from being a title contender.
If Mr. Harper is truly interested in competing for a World Series title, as he enters the prime of his career, the Dodgers are the logical fit with the Yankees appearing to be out of the running. Not only are the Dodgers World Series contenders, but they are also the closest team to his hometown of Las Vegas. Sprinkle in the fact that Los Angeles is the perfect city for him to grow his brand and endorsements and you would be hard pressed to find a better fit.
The Dodgers, on the other hand, do not NEED Bryce Harper. Of course, they could use an MVP candidate but the Dodgers have plenty of solid outfield options in Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, Cody Bellinger, and Chris Taylor/Kiké Hernandez. They also have top prospect Alex Verdugo who is trying to find his way onto the big league roster.
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The Dodgers won’t rule out an upgrade in the outfield, but having gone to the World Series two consecutive times, the outfield is more than fine as it’s currently constructed. That is the common theme for the Dodgers this winter, finding ways to upgrade rather than filling holes on the roster. The only real holes on the team are at catcher and second base but the Dodgers could get away with a Hernandez-Taylor-Muncy platoon at second base.
Catcher is the one spot where there is no obvious answer. The Dodgers will likely look to sign another catcher to rotate with Barnes and hope that one of them breaks out from the pack. The Dodgers would like to land big upgrades like Corey Kluber and Bryce Harper but even if they show up to spring training as they are now, the Dodgers would be the odds-on favorite to win the National League.
The Dodgers and Bryce Harper look like the perfect fit for each other, but Harper must be willing to take fewer years and possibly less money if he wants to become a Dodger. The Dodgers know they don’t need Harper as much as he needs the Dodgers so Andrew Friedman is unlikely to budge for Harper’s demands.