Dodgers Believed to Be Back in Bryce Harper Running

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In this world, crazy news breaks every day. Apparently, this is no different in the MLB, where the free agent market has dragged on and on. And guess what—the Dodgers just might be back in the Bryce Harper mix once again.

News broke early Monday morning that Dave Roberts along with other club officials were seen in Las Vegas on Sunday.

A few thoughts ran through my mind upon reading this news first thing this morning. You don’t send Roberts to Vegas for nothing. Did Mark Walter saying something about not staying under the luxury tax the other day have anything to do with this? And the Dodgers would definitely have to trade an outfielder to make this happen, so are the rumors of Joc Pederson being on the move still true?

Granted, Vegas and Scottsdale, Arizona are not all that far apart, just a quick plane ride away. So it’s not like it would take that much to get there and see Harper. But the presence of the manager of the team taking time away to see a potential new player should mean something.

From Sunday’s Los Angeles Times article, when asked if the Dodgers’ ownership directed Andrew Friedman and co to stay under the luxury tax:

“No,” Dodgers Chairman Mark Walter said Saturday at Camelback Ranch. “Stan and Andrew run all that and they do what they think is best for the team, period, and to win.”

So. Was that somehow a little window into the thinking of the front office? A public “ok” to go and spend on Harper? I doubt it, but still, the timing is curious.

And then, if the Dodgers do sign Harper, there is the issue of too many outfielders. Since the Dodgers signed A.J. Pollock to be their full-time center fielder, that leaves just two spots left for Cody Bellinger, Pederson, and/or Alex Verdugo. The Dodgers have made it clear they aren’t trading Bellinger or Verdugo, so that supposedly leaves Pederson the odd man out. His name has been linked to trade rumors with the Chicago White Sox all winter long.

It had been presumed that Harper would be a Dodger for the last few seasons leading up to his free agency—it’s where he prefers to play. But it has yet to pan out that way. Harper is reportedly looking for a long term deal, somewhere in the 10-12 year range, for $325 million or more. The Dodgers refuse to give out long term contracts. I could see the Dodgers offering something less than five years, for maybe $40 milllion or so a year. Would Harper settle for less years to play in Los Angeles?

This news is most likely a play by Harper’s agent to drive up the price, and he will ultimately still land in Philadelphia. But stranger things have happened, especially in a strange year.

Stay tuned.

 

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53 thoughts on “Dodgers Believed to Be Back in Bryce Harper Running

  1. I agree with your premise Andy that Harper took the meeting just to drive up the price from Philly. I’m still very ambivalent about Harper and I think I’d be just as happy if they saved that money for one of the other guys who will be available for monster dollars in the next couple of years.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is just the boras/ Heyman team trying to get philly to bid up from their $200 mil offer. Think about it. Washington out. Padres out. Yankees out. White Sox out. Dodgers and San Francisco 4/5 years. Who is left. Is philly stupid enough to keep bidding against themselves? Probably.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Keeping the team’s budget in mind, Kasten treated both Friedman and Roberts to a McDonald’s breakfast on the return trip to Glendale this morning. The trio traveled in new hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc’s Toyota Prius, which happened to be the vehicle with the best fuel mileage at Camelback.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a guy in a Prius or one of those hippie cars like it literally flip me off and scream at me at a redlight a while back telling me that I was killing the earth driving an F-250. I’d be extremely disappointed if any member of the Dodgers drove a Prius except for Friedman. That seems right up his alley.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My excellent source inside the Dodger front office tells me the Dodgers have come to a deal with Harper. One year, 330 million, plus a Prius for him and one for his wife. I would have bet he would be an F-250 guy. You just never know.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Where would Harper even play? I doubt he would want to play LF but there’s no way you stick Cody or Pollock in LF either since they are both far superior defenders to Harper. I’m fine with Joc and Verdugo battling it out. Save the big signing for Arrenado or Trout.

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  5. It seems he doesn’t want to play for the Phillies, or he would have signed with them already. He is hoping somebody jumps in at the last second. Boras has a monstrous ego, I can’t believe he will let Harper sign a lesser deal to play where he wants, boras will want to top machados contract. Alex I would say the outfield would be Harper in left, Cody in right pollock in center, then either verdugo, or joc get traded, or verdugo goes back to the minors.

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    1. I don’t blame him. Why would anyone want to play in Philly? I had the unfortunate pleasure of going to a Saints game in Philly when they played the Eagles and let’s just say the fans were a little less than classy yelling and cursing at us the entire time.

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  6. If he really wants to play in LA so bad and you they really want him then offer him 3 years $99 million with 7 team option years after that at $33 million per. Boras would laugh at it but that’s kind of the point. He’s not worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sure would like to know if the dodgers made an offer, and what it is. I understand money is money, but why would you play somewhere you don’t want to be, for ten years. That’s a long time to be someplace, if your not happy.

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  8. The .247 BA isn’t importantant, it’s his .393 OBP that teams are looking at. He gets on base 4 out of ten times, that’s a pretty good number these days.

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  9. Kershaw played catch today and said he didn’t feel great. Not saying this will happen, but if AF dangles both Verdugo and Joc in front of the Indians I think he could definitely come away with Bauer. He could get away with trading both if he signs Harper. There is absolutely no way they can send Verdugo back down again. If they had slight questions about his attitude before imagine what he’d be like back in OKC. If (and it’s a big if) they sign Harper, Verdugo will be traded and Joc might well go also since it would be a waste to play him only once or twice a week.

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      1. I agree Andy that Bauer is not Friedman’s kinda guy but think of the quotes the press could get out of him every day. We keep complaining that the Dodgers have been a little boring over the last year. Bauer would fix that and at some point during the season he’d piss off one of his teammates who would take a swing at him. How exciting would that be?

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      2. Ha. Boy this bloggers. And I don’t know if you’re on Twitter, but every one fought about him for a good month. I’ll pass

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  10. The tantalizing thing about Harper is if there is another season or two of 50+ hr’s and a . 1000+ OPS in him. That could bring a title to LA. I think maybe they offered him like 5-200 mil with a bunch of creative opt ins and outs.

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    1. Rich. No Dodger has ever hit 50 homers in their entire existence. 49 was the most. Hitting in Dodger Stadium reduces the chances of that happening. Believe it or not, Harper has driven in 100 runs exactly once. He is not worth the numbers that they are talking.

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    2. You honestly think Harper has one, much less multiple, HR seasons in him playing in Dodger Stadium? Come on now let’s get real. When was the last Dodger to hit 50HR in a year?

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      1. That would be never Alex. Most they ever had from a player in Brooklyn was Snider hitting 43 one year. Shawn Green holds the LA record with 49. Beltre hit 48 his last year as a Dodger. Snider, Hodges, Campanella, Piazza, Green Beltre, Sheffield. Those are the only Dodgers EVER to hit 40 or more, Beltre was the last Dodger to do it. Snider, Green the only Dodgers to do it more than once. Snider did it 5 years in a row.

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    3. What I see is a 25 year old that has already put up 27.4 oWAR. That is outstanding. We have prospects that aren’t much younger than him. With the DH on the way I believe the guy has 10 more years of that kind of production in him. My only concern is that grisly -3.2 dWAR he just put up. WTF happened and what guarantee does he give that it will never happen again? Get back to 0 dWAR, which he has done 3 out 7 years. First step for that would be to get him out of center and right, put him left field every day. And starting now hit him 100 fly balls, line drives, ground balls, gappers, down the line, off the wall, short outfield pop ups every day …. drill the living bejeezus out of him for the next 5 weeks and he should be fine in left. He’s a great athlete. Playing average defense should be easy for him. If he doesn’t agree to work on his defense then let him go to Philly. But if we could get 27.4 oWAR, maybe even more, out of him over the next 7 years he’s worth the money.

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      1. You think a guy who just signed a contract for somewhere in the 30-40 mil/year range is going to go into his manager’s office and say “OK Doc, drill the living bejeezus out of me.”?

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  11. I could care less about Harper. He is not going to win a series on his own. His offensive numbers notwithstanding, the guy is a minus defensive player, a clubhouse cancer and not according to all reports the best team mate. He makes the batting order longer and would be good behind Turner, but he makes the defense weaker, and they have to make some roster moves before that can happen. They have a bigger problem than offense. They have a pitching problem right now. Until they are certain what is wrong with Kershaw, I would not be spending a lot of money on Harper. I would take some of that cash and sign Kuechel. I do not want Bauer, he is another head case from another planet. I think the whole Harper thing is another smoke screen to make fans forget how frugal they really are. I will believe it when I see it. I still think Harper wants the biggest contract, and a short term deal is not an option for him.

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  12. I’ve said it a million times but I’ll say it again. Compare Joc and Harper’s seasons last year and tell me Harper is worth paying $30 million per for and then think about Harper hitting in Dodger Stadium. If both Joc and Harper played in Dodger Stadium last year then they end up with VERY VERY similar stats.

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    1. Just looked. Joc is a year older and has put up 9 oWAR in 5 years. Harper has put up 27.4 oWAR in 7 years. Harper has OPS’d .796 vs LHP over his career. Pederson has a career OPS of .583 vs LHP. Harper has been better against RHP too. The way I read it Harper is the better offensive threat. Would he continue that trend in the NL West? I don’t know. He’s only 26 this year. I would think he’d be as good as he’s been for another few years. At least until the DH is adopted by the NL.

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      1. Does Harper get extra WAR points for his hair? Way better than Joc’s. I still don’t really think I want Harper but if they sign him he’d be fine in left field. He wouldn’t be the first guy to have his WAR destroyed by playing center.

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  13. The fact that Kershaw felt bad throwing again today and the team still won’t order an MRI is absolutely infuriating. It’s almost like they are scared about what they would find and just prefer to pretend nothing is wrong.

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    1. I think they’re holding off on the MRI until they can bring in another very good pitcher. If they officially say CK is down for the long haul, the price on every pitcher goes up. Kluber (a package too good to resist), Bauer (please, take him off our hands), Keuchel (I swear I’ll be better than the last couple of years) or someone we haven’t even thought of. They need to take care of that and then do the MRI.

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  14. I doubt any of us here debate that Harper is a very talented player……..with the bat……his glove is another matter, as is his head. I do not see Friedman getting locked into a long term deal. All the chatter is about if he will accept a shorter deal with more AAV. That seems to be the Dodgers thinking. The fact that he would rather play on the west coast. Although it is up to him where he plays, we all know what type of negotiator Boras is. There are so many rumors flying around right now that no one knows what is real and what is not. We all also know how Friedman has worked in his time here. I think today he and the ownership have a much more pressing problem than Harper and that is their 93 million dollar man is shut down. If it is a bad shoulder, I would have to believe that Kersh is out for the year. Shoulder is what got Urias, and now CK is not feeling well. I think there is more to it than the Dodgers are letting on. I think they need to address this more than Harper. They do not really need Harper. They need a healthy Kershaw.

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  15. I figured that delivery of Kershaw’s would one day catch up to him and now it’s obvious it has. Just do the MRI and if it’s surgery get it done so he’s got a full year to recover. It makes no sense resting and him still hurting only to have to have surgery 2-3 months down the line. I know I’m talking negatively but I just have that feeling there is something inside his shoulder that isn’t going to heal on it’s own.

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  16. I agree bear. How much more is Harper gonna give us over platoon of Pederson and either Kiki or CT3 in left. If Kersh is a no go that’s a major problem we need to,address. Feel bad for Kersh!

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  17. Well it looks like we may have our answer on Harper by the morning. Rumor is the Phillies have given Harper and Scott Boras 24 hours to take their deal or they will pull the offer.

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    1. If true, I applaud the Phillies. It’s time someone stood up to Boras. If Harper doesn’t take the offer and the Phillies really back out, I think other teams will jump back in with shorter term offers and this thing may go on for another week or two while Boras plays them against each other. Chances are, though, that money will win out and he’ll sign with the Phils.

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  18. A lot of heat to read this message. Good stuff.

    I agree with most of what is being said. Harper put up his poor defensive numbers in center and right. That’s why I put him in left. If he doesn’t agree to commit to working on his defense I don’t sign him. It’s as simple as that. I don’t think a 7 year deal for a 26 year old is out of line. That takes him to age 32. Give him an out after 4-5 years. and weight it so he’s paid less this year, more in the middle and less during his DH years.

    Bauer was an odd duck when he first came up, but I hear he’s chilled out a bit. He’s 28 now. Lived here before. 175 innings of about 3.0 would be most helpful, and he’s affordable for 2 more years. The Dodgers can live with his penchant for peculiar for 2 years.

    Agree. Just get the MRI already.

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    1. Just saw a clip on MLB. Bauer apparently went out of his way to attend the Machado press conference, just to thank him for leaving the American League. Machado has absolutely owned him. Shows Bauer has a good sense of humor and can be self deprecating. Maybe not as bad in the clubhouse as we might have thought.

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  19. Just read the Phillies are offering what Harper and his agen want. If Harper wanted only the money he would accept it, and might in fact do it if the Dodgers remain hardlined at only 4-5 years. He wants to be a Dodger. It just seems odd that he isn’t. There he is. We can afford him he wants to be here…. work it out.

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  20. I don’t understand if philly is offering ten years, and the dodgers only want to go 4 or 5 years why did the dodgers go to Vegas to meet, seems like a complete waste of time, unless they are willing to go more years. quit jerking everyone around.

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  21. Hey, anybody think the dodgers may have reengaged with Harper because of Kershaws arm troubles? If they sign Harper they could trade joc and verdugo for more pitching.

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