SPMT Week 2 Blog 2 Bryce Harper

Ashkan Motamedi Bryce Harper Take


It’s time for the Bryce Harper era to  end in DC. I know that is  a tough pill to take in for Nationals fans but the matter of fact is Harper sooner rather than later will be wearing a different uniform. His asking price is north of 300 million meaning it be the richest contract in MLB history. Harper came into the league by storm posting stats of .270 or above first three seasons before winning an MVP in 2015 . He slowly began to become one of the baseball best players and a box office sensation to sell tickets. Nationals fans loved him and the Nationals made the postseason four times with Harper. However they were first round exits in both.  Harper had only posted above .280 batting average only once out of those four.  He is a powerful home run hitter that has shown to be clutch time after time. However consistency is the main thing people look for in baseball. Since that MVP season in 2015 Harper has hit slumps both defensibly and at the plate. Two last three  seasons Harper has  hit south of .250 and the one year he was hitting well .319 he missed time due to injury and could not recapture that form in the postseason. It has been proven in MLB having a good postseason can win you money free agency.  Harper has often been deemed having a selfish personality not running out balls in play to first or going hard on hard hit balls the outfield. Harper has also been accused of just worrying about stats and trying to stay healthy to get his contract. Something teams took notice off.  In 2018 Nationals Juan Soto came into the league by storm breaking records at only the age 19 finishing 2nd rookie of the year award. Victor Robles your best minor league prospect is ready to start in the major leagues can play all three outfield positions and you still have the vet  Adam Eaton a .300 hitter. Matter of fact is the Nationals did not just let Bryce Harper walk they offered him two deals 300 million dollar range for 10 years.  Harper respectfully  declined both remains unsigned with division rival Philles being the new favorite to sign him.  I look at it like this signing a guy to 300 million + for 10 years when you’re just under the luxury tax will not help you reach your goals. Bryce Harper is a great  player but those type of contracts do usually end successfully. Teams in 2018 season put shifts on to limit Harper and expose his flaws  and it was effective. Nationals spent that money elsewhere and addressed their needs offseason to the point where they field a team once again to win the World Series.  It is simply too much of a gamble to invest there with you have two great player in Anthony Rendon and Trea Turner becoming free agents soon and do not want to be tied down to Harper big contract. His defense has declined and you have in house players you need to take care off . With the  history on these big contracts not working out for MLB teams. The Nationals are making the right choice in letting Bryce Harper walk.  There is a reason why he is unsigned and its simple MLB teams right now do not want to hand out big contracts like that because they want to keep themselves below the luxury tax and keep a balanced pay roll.  The matter of fact is Nationals did not reach their goals Bryce Harper era and now its time to see if a new approach without their superstar will be successful.  Nationals fans will not like it but it is the right move for the future.

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