The Dodgers recent interest in signing Bryce Harper suddenly spiked earlier this week. What is the reason for their sudden peak in interest again?
Earlier this week the Dodgers surprised everybody including Dodger fans when they suddenly began to show interest in Bryce Harper again. After signing AJ Pollock it was assumed that the Dodgers were out on Harper but then Sunday night Dave Roberts and Andrew Friedman were part of a group that flew to meet with Bryce Harper at his Las Vegas home.
There seem to be two possible reasons why the Dodgers are once again in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes. The first one is that they seriously considered pursuing Nolan Arenado next off-season but once he was extended by the Rockies the Dodgers changed course back to Harper. While Anthony Rendon is an elite hitter, he is not exactly the type of star that the Dodgers would sign to shift Justin Turner to first base like Nolan Arenado would have been.
With Arenado coming off next year’s free agent market the next big free agent star will be Mike Trout after the 2020 season. That is if the Angels even allow him to get there and are unable to agree to a big extension before then. Sitting out free agency for another two seasons while waiting for Trout wouldn’t have been the best idea for the Dodgers which could be one reason they are now going after Bryce Harper yet again.
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David Vassegh mentioned on Dodger talk that teams around the league knew about the deal Arenado was about to sign a few days before it happened which falls in line with the timeline of the revived interest in Harper. The other possible scenario is that the Dodgers are trying to drive up the price so that if their rival the Giants sign Harper it will be for more than they wanted to pay.
The Giants are another team showing interest in Bryce Harper again and met with him for the second time on Tuesday. It remains to be seen how serious the Giants are since their best route is a full-on rebuild. This could be mind games being played between the Dodgers and Giants to drive the price up on whichever of the two teams ends up signing Harper. Scott Boras has his dream scenario in two rivals bidding against each other for one of his clients.
The off-season has drawn out far too long as the calendar is ready to flip to March. Hopefully, Bryce Harper signs in the coming days so the Dodgers can either get him on board and training for the season or move on and continuing to prep with the players they currently have. The Dodgers will be the best team in the National League with or without Harper but there is no doubt their championship odds go up with him.