Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is set to be one of the most sought after free agents in Major League Baseball history following the 2018 season. The 2015 National League MVP is still only 25-years-old (he turns 26 in October), and is just entering the prime of his career. Given his age, marketability, and elite talent, it’s easy to see why Harper will likely become the highest-paid player in MLB history.
Harper has repeatedly expressed interest in remaining with the Nationals for the long term, but according to reports, the team shopped the six-time All-Star before the July 31 trade deadline.
According to a source, the Nationals are making it known to other teams that Bryce Harper is indeed available.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 31, 2018
When it comes down to it, Harper may be playing his final season in D.C. Here’s where the oddsmakers at BetDSI see him playing in 2019.
Odds courtesy of BetDSI as of August 5, 2018.
Los Angeles Dodgers (+765)
No surprise here. The Dodgers seem to be contenders any time a superstar-caliber player becomes available. They have proven to be willing to pay top dollar for elite talent, and with Harper in line to become the highest-paid player in Major League Baseball history, the Dodgers seem like a solid bet at +765.
Philadelphia Phillies (+765)
The Phillies made a run (reportedly) at Harper prior to the trade deadline passing, which means they will likely make a strong push for the six-time All-Star during free agency in the offseason.
Chicago Cubs (+765)
The Cubs have long been linked to Harper. Not only does the 2015 NL MVP have a not-so-subtle love for Wrigley Field (his dog is named Wrigley), he is also close friends with Chicago third baseman Kris Bryant. If the Cubs make a serious run at Harper, it’s hard to see him signing anywhere else.
Washington Nationals (+475)
Bottom line: the Nationals are going to be serious contenders for Harper this offseason. They are the team that drafted him, so there will be the familiarity factor at play. And he has enjoyed a massive amount of success in Washington D.C. If the Nationals are willing to pay Harper what he wants, they will be tough to beat here.
New York Yankees (+475)
Simply put: Harper could do some serious damage (both on and off the field) with the Yankees. Marketing opportunities would be limitless for him in New York; the protection of being in a lineup that includes Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, and Greg Bird would be unmatched; and the short porch in right field of Yankees Stadium would likely result in some massive numbers for the 2018 Home Run Derby champion. And has history has proven, the Yankees don’t shy away from handing out mega contracts.
Other notable teams to watch:
- Boston Red Sox (+1630)
- Los Angeles Angeles (+1630)
- Texas Rangers (+1630)
- San Francisco Giants (+1630)
- Field (+330)
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